“Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. You split open springs and brooks; you dried up ever-flowing streams. Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun. You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.” Psalm 74:12,15-17
We just passed through the summer equinox, “the instant of time when the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the sun,” when fall begins and day and night are the same length. I am humbled with the realization that in the bright times in our lives, and the dark times, our God the King reigns in absolute perfection, ordering both day and night. The Designer, Architect, and Engineer of the spinning earth and all the universe brings balance to every life, filling them with a variety of experiences to teach us about His sovereignty and care. He is Lord of all that is light, uplifting, and hopeful, as well as all that is thick dark, untenable, and sorrowful. He rules over feast and famine, flowing streams and drought, glad satisfaction and gnawing longing.
What difference does this make for us? We are told by the world that if God is love, He wants only health and happiness for us, yet Scriptures’ truth is to the contrary: “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” The Creator of the universe has ordained both day and night because we need them. We need them in order to function well, to be exposed to life-giving sunlight and for rest at night. We need them in order to know God, to be sanctified to be like Jesus. We need them to learn compassion, to keep us from becoming proud, and to teach us full dependence on Christ’s sufficiency- both on our behalf and in His suffering and death on the cross. (2 Corinthians 4:17; 12:7-10; Ephesians 4:32; 2 Timothy 3:12)
So when our path is smooth and pleasant, we will be thankful. And when it is dim and rough, we can be thankful also. God orders one as well as the other to form the whole of our character and lives, ever present on our journey, gracing our joys and redeeming our hardships. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” We need not fear, we are never alone. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Romans 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Peter 5:10; Revelation 2:10; Psalm 30:5)
King of all, this is Your day, and Yours will be the night. May I rejoice and be glad in them, even as I rejoice in You. (Psalm 118:24)