Last winter an acquaintance posted on Facebook after 1 am that the pilot light had gone out in her furnace and they could not get it to stay lit. She needed some space heaters to get her through the night (it was 19 degrees here). I responded back, “Hey, I’m awake and I have 2 heaters. Com’on over.” Within minutes she was here and back home with some heat. Was this a big inconvenience to me? No, I was already up. Was this a big deal to her? Absolutely, she was rescued from a potentially dangerous situation. Did anyone else help her? Sure, but not until a more normal time this morning. God used me in the quiet nighttime hours, while everyone else was asleep. You’ve probably had similar situations happen to you. Do not underestimate the value of this nighttime ministry.
If we were in a comic book hero TV show our introduction would go something like this:
“Together we are a league of extraordinary Christians, music ministers who stand and pray when everyone else is asleep. Led by the Holy Spirit, we give help in the darkest hour. Warriors trained to protect and keep watch over our cities at night. We are… the Night Watchmen.”
Here’s an excerpt from The Christian Musicians Devotional to help us embrace this idea:
“O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
they will pray day and night, continually.
Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD.”
One of the most misunderstood aspects of being a Christian music minister is the strange hours we keep. People who maintain more ‘normal’ hours do not understand why we sleep until noon and are awake at 3 am; and so, we are often judged as being lazy. The truth is that God has wired us to be able to stay up all night because that is most often when we need to do our ministry. We are not ‘wrong’ simply because we were created to live differently. We have the freedom to be used by God when other people are unavailable.
One of the more important things we do during the nighttime hours is to keep watch over our cities. We pray while everyone else is asleep. We are available for ministry when no one else is awake. Who do people contact at night to get help? The people they know who will probably be awake—musicians. People who need help in the middle of the night are in crisis; otherwise they would wait until morning. So, being available to pray and minister at night is important. We cannot lose sight of our calling, even in the face of judgments by people who do not understand it. We must be who God has created us to be, and be faithful to do all that He has planned for us to do. Our life is unusual but because we are willing to be unusual, God can use us in extraordinary ways to take care of His people. God did not create us to be ‘average’ or ‘normal’ or to blend in with people. He created us to love and take care of people. Our strange lifestyle puts us in a unique position to do so.
Prayer: Father, help me to make good use of my nighttime hours. Send me people who need help when no one else is awake.
This article is an excerpt from The Christian Musicians Devotional.
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