Songs in the Night Day 1: Exploring Stories of God’s Mysterious Kindness
Where is God my Creator, the One who gives songs in the night? (Job 35:10, NLT)
This question was posed by Job’s friend Elihu, referring to people who endure hardship and saying they don’t ask this important question. In this study, it is my hope that we will ask, expectantly searching for His hand and His heart to lead us through any valleys we are currently walking.
Before we get started, by way of a little introduction, I was born and raised in Philly, a northern girl at heart. The LORD directed us south fifteen years ago—to Savannah for five years, then south Florida for ten—and is now returning us to our northern roots, near our honeymoon destination in coastal New England! Our quaint new address will be Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
My husband, David, and I were introduced by mutual friends of our parents during a Bible conference in Wilmington, DE. To make a long story short, the LORD caused two broken paths to meet and led us to an unexpected new beginning in our late twenties.
1998 was a big year for us. We both turned thirty, he graduated from law school, and we got engaged and married within a matter of months. It was, admittedly, a whirlwind, but we were confident in the LORD’s direction, making it easy to move forward with confidence and exuberance!
There is one little story from our early days of marriage I want to share. It may seem random, but stick with me; I promise it will tie into our theme for this study.
David’s first order of business was to replace the car I was driving, which he not so affectionately referred to as a “death trap on wheels.” It was a Ford Festiva, and to be fair, it was tiny, and the frame was thin—certifiably crushable!
It was the compact of all compact cars. I could comfortably navigate any narrow passage, park it anywhere with ease, enjoy 40 mpg on gas, and it was red! I truly loved that car. It was not easy to give up! But even in those early days of marriage, I trusted the LORD to faithfully lead us through David’s heart. So, I was willing to surrender my little red car.
That car was special for another reason—it represented the hallowed ground of finding my own footing as a young adult. It was the first car I purchased with my own money. An inexperienced single female with the task of negotiating this deal solo, I was intimidated at best, but feisty too. I was stubbornly determined to stand my ground and not let any car salesman pressure me into a poor decision!
The car, brand new, was $5000. It was “basic” everything! Manual window cranks, manual steering, no A/C, no radio, stripped bare. I was ok with that. But the salesman tried his best to upcharge me. “We can add A/C for you! ($1000). We can put in a really nice radio (another $1000).” Nope. I didn’t need them. I was not going to pay a fifth of the cost of the entire car for either option. “Lady! I’m not making a dime on this car!” To which I replied, “I’m so sorry, but I’ll take it as is for $5000 out the door or I’ll find another car.” With a sigh of resignation, he prepared the papers and I drove my shiny new red Festiva home that day.
My dad had coached me well, but sent me in alone. I’m still not a fan of car sales. The art of the deal is not for me. It makes me squirmy and distrusting. But my dad was confident in the outcome. He knew I would be ok. But he also wanted me to know I would be ok—in that situation and every one that came after it. He sent me into the middle of the stress on purpose, from a place of love and true kindness, so I would learn to look to the LORD, trust the guidance given to me, and stand back to watch Him work it all out.
In the years since, I have faced many more stressful situations, much more dire than buying a car from a pushy salesman. But through each new storm, there is a knowing that grows deep within me—not just a head knowledge, but a confident and passionate voice of experience—whatever may come, the LORD is faithful and He will never leave me.
Sometimes He will intentionally lead me right into the thick of it, because in that place He knows I will reach for Him, I will experience new facets of His heart, catch fresh glimpses of His eternal purposes, and find Him faithful. Again.
My dad’s mysterious kindness to me is a simple example, one I can laugh about now. But there are stories much more powerful than mine where we can trace the hand of God in the lives of His people in the Bible. In this study, we’ll take a look at a few of them, asking some good questions, and discovering timeless truths that will strengthen our hearts!
I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. (Hosea 2:14, NLT)
In the wasteland, a howling wilderness, He encircled him … He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the LORD alone led him. (Deuteronomy 32:10-12, NKJV)