The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When Your Faith Falls Short on a Long Silent Night

Welcome to the Overflow!  Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, I’m glad you’re here.  This is a place where faith is spilled and souls are filled. I hope you’ll pull up a chair and stay awhile.

I’m over at Proverbs 31 today talking about how to survive those long nights of the soul. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you can find it here. But before you go, I’d love to tell you what the Christmas story has been teaching me about holding on to hope when my faith falls short on a long silent night…

I sit alone at the end of a long day, my weary frame wrapped in a wordless sigh and a plush red blanket.

The woods beyond the window are wrapped in velvet darkness; bare branches strung with shimmers of starlight and swaddles of snow.

And though I can’t see the moon from where I sit, I know it hovers high in the midnight sky because moonbeams mingle with the twinkling lights of our Christmas tree in the corner.

I want to sink into the peace of this silent night. But my heart refuses to take its cues from the hallowed hush.

For years–when wee ones wailed and the midnight hours dangled long – I dreamed of quiet like this.

But what I didn’t know when I rocked babies in the starlight and held toddlers in the dark; when I walked the hallways with sleepless sons and soothed the tears of anxious daughters; is that children aren’t the only ones who fill the night with noise.

Sometimes the quiet quakes noisy, too.

Questions that are drowned out by the roar of the day can resurrect with a ruckus in the lull of night.

Doubts can clamor loud when the hours grow hush.

Maybe you know this clank and clamor.

Maybe you know just how long a silent night can feel.

There is a prayer that spills from my lips in these midnight hours, an impossible and beautiful plea that only Jesus can answer. My prayer is steeped in His promises and rooted in His faithfulness.

And on most days, I can honestly say that I trust He is answering my cry even though I can’t see what He is doing.On most days, I will tell you that I believe in a Savior who does the impossible; a Father who makes a way where the road appears impassible.

But sometimes my reckless hope grows wary.

It’s in the long dark hours between God’s promises today and His new mercies tomorrow that our trust can tremor and our doubts can swell.

So, I’m learning to fight for faith in the darkness.

I open the Word and soak my wavering soul in the story of that very first Christmas.

I read slowly, prayerfully, asking the Spirit of God to show me something new in this old treasured tale…

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,  but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, my heart stirs and two little words leap off the page of God’s holy writ.

That night….

It was in the darkness of night that God delivered good news.

It was in the darkness of night that ordinary shepherds encountered God’s extraordinary glory.

It was in the darkness of night that joy swelled and fear was quelled.

It was in the darkness of night that Heaven’s Hope landed surefooted on earth.

And as that beautiful truth sinks in, I feel my hope rising like the sun, my confidence hinging on the Son.

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)

The night doesn’t seem quite as dark as I shift my eyes to Jesus.

And above the roar of the quiet, I hear the promise that a bright shining star in Bethlehem once proclaimed: “You are no longer alone. Jesus is here!”

Slowly, my heart surrenders to peace.

Because Christmas reminds me that we don’t just have a God who breaks through our darkness.

We also have a Savior who lingers with us in our long silent nights.

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:23)

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If you like what you’ve found here at the Overflow, I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog so we can stay in touch.  (You’ll find a subscription box on the top right sidebar on my home page.) Once you sign up, I’ll send a splash of encouragement to your inbox now and then. Or, if you’d rather, we can stay connected on Facebook or Twitter.

Of course, my favorite way to connect is the old fashioned way—face to face so I can see your smile.  I’m scheduling speaking engagements for 2018, and I’d be delighted to bring a message of encouragement to a ministry event near you! (Contact me at overflow@aliciabruxvoort.net if you’d like to know more).

And, finally, I’m so thankful for a Savior who gave up Heaven’s glory so we’d never linger alone here on earth. But I know that sometimes it’s tough to hold on to hope in the darkness. So, I’ve made a gift for you: a free printable packed with God’s truth to help you fight for faith and buoy your confidence. Consider it an early Christmas gift without the wrapping paper. You can find that little present here.

And, as always, we’d love to pray for you. Just leave a comment letting us know how we can lift you up in prayer.

Merry Christmas, dear friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 thoughts on “When Your Faith Falls Short on a Long Silent Night

  1. Dianet BORRERO

    Prayer encouragement
    Strength, decision,
    Am raising two grandbabies .
    Overwhelmed. Restoration

    December 20, 2017 at 5:15 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Jesus, encourage Dianet’s heart today with your presence and your peace. Give her everything she needs to raise her grand babies with love and grace. And, Jesus, please whisper words of wisdom into your dear daughter’s ear as she seeks your guidance in decisions. Show yourself to her in a powerful and intimate way so that her heart is overwhelmed with your glory rather than overwhelmed with the daily grind. Merry Christmas, Dianet. May the HOPE of Christ fill you and the comfort of Christ carry you.

      December 20, 2017 at 11:18 am
  2. Brenda

    I so enjoy your writings! Merry Christmas!

    December 20, 2017 at 5:34 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Thank you, Brenda. Merry Christmas to you, too!

      December 20, 2017 at 11:13 am
  3. Laura

    Wonderful and inspiring .

    December 20, 2017 at 6:41 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Thank you, Laura!

      December 20, 2017 at 11:13 am
  4. Carla

    I humbly ask for your prayers…I’m a single mom who recently and unexpectedly list my dad, the only family I had in the area where I live. I’ve been unable to work for 5 months because of health issues. My daughter is with her dad over the holiday and I’m feeling so weary, overwhelmed, grieving and alone. I pray His truth and presence fills me, and His faithfulness provides.

    December 20, 2017 at 7:25 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Oh, Carla, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m echoing your prayer- asking Jesus to fill you with His presence and truth, to be your faithful Provider and your tender Comforter. May He break through your loneliness and grief with a fresh surge of hope and a lavish outpouring of love. May he heal you and strengthen you in the days ahead. I’m thankful you’ve lingered here a moment and invited us to pray. Merry Christmas.

      December 20, 2017 at 11:13 am
  5. Connie Ciatti

    My family has been broken apart from Domestic Violence, I escaped in 2003,my older daughter escaped in 2011, but my youngest daughter is trapped there. She is almost 16 and our family has not seen or talked to her since August of 2016. She thinks that is where she wants to be. So many trials and pain, there have been a lot of blessings too. We just keep going forward ❤️ May you have a blessed Christmas and a New Year and thank you so much for helping by sharing your stories and wisdom. Proverbs 41 has helped me fall into peaceful sleep so may night when there was very little peace around me.

    December 20, 2017 at 9:38 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Connie, thank you for taking a moment to share a sliver of your heart here. I am praying for you and for your daughters. I’m so sorry for your pain. May Jesus break through the darkness and bring His unrelenting hope and love and light into your family. And may He show Himself faithful to you in miraculous ways as you continue to trust Him. Merry Christmas to you, tool.

      December 20, 2017 at 11:10 am
  6. Kim

    Prayers please for my separated husband to see the door God has graciously provided as a way for him to return home. We both need to be covered in God’s grace, love and mercy. Thank you.

    December 20, 2017 at 9:47 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Jesus, you are a God who can make blind eyes see and so we boldly ask you to open the eyes of Kim’s husband and show him the way home. Mend what is broken. Make new what has died. And give Kim a testimony for your glory. Cover her and her husband in your grace and mercy and love. AMEN. Thank you for taking a moment here, Kim. May your Christmas be wrapped in hope.

      December 20, 2017 at 11:07 am
  7. Cindy

    Thanks for the encouragement. First Christmas without both my parents.Really hard for my son who was closer to them than me. I long to be closer to him.

    December 20, 2017 at 9:52 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Cindy, those kind of “firsts” are hard. I am praying for you and your son… asking Jesus to fill in the gaps with His presence and His love. And to strengthen the relationship between you and your son. Thanks for taking a moment to linger here with us. Merry Christmas.

      December 20, 2017 at 11:05 am
  8. Linda

    Please pray for me. Home from work today sick and anxiety about being sick is overwhelming. Worried my depression will start up.

    December 20, 2017 at 11:51 am
    1. Kate

      Dear Linda, let your faith lay hold on the Rock Jesus is, not on the fears the enemy dangles in front of you. Choose life. Choose His Word. Psalm 139 and Psalm 91 have so often encouraged me. “Thy Word is Truth” – and “His Truth shall be your shield”. His desire is for you. Believe that HIS love is greater than anything, according to Romans 8:38-39. God IS Love. Bless you…

      December 20, 2017 at 7:15 pm
  9. Norma Sanchez

    I need prayer for my family to serve the Lord and for our marriage to find its way back together. Thank you God bless.

    December 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm
    1. Kassandra Velasquez

      Lord Jesus i lift up our sister norma shevis struggling in the darkness and crying out to you for help please fill her with your Holy Spirit that he may bring her joy and comfort though this midnight hour..give her the strength to endure as she calls on your name to save her family and restore her marriage, bring unity and harmony where there has been division disbelief and strife, we thank u that u will do these things because u are a God who saves and will bring forth the light in her darkness in Jesus mighty name Amen

      December 21, 2017 at 12:12 am
      1. Alicia Bruxvoort
  10. Cassie

    Just what my heart & mind needed! Truly God-breathed thoughts as I sit in my own (not so) silent night where winter sickness abounds for my toddler & newborn. It’s our second wave & I found myself waning for hope as we’re just days away from Christmas celebrations and family time. But you have helped point me to a renewed mindset focused on Jesus! Thank you!

    December 21, 2017 at 2:31 am
  11. Sherry Myrick

    My one and only son attempted suicide yesterday. He is just a few days away from being 18 years old..I am at a loss for words

    December 21, 2017 at 8:37 pm
    1. Amy

      Sherry, I have no words either, but I am stopping right this very minute and lifting up you and your son to the Father.

      December 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm
    2. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Sherry, My heart is aching for you. I can’t imagine the pain. I have no words either… but I’m thankful that when we can’t find words to pray, the Spirit of Christ will pray for us. (Romans 8:26) I have been crying out for you and your son. And I’ll continue to.

      January 2, 2018 at 8:05 am
  12. Amy

    The silence is deafening… I’ve been praying and waiting on a situation for almost 3 years now. I know without a doubt God is working and that this time is purposeful to His plans. But my heart is so heavy, and I’m weary.

    December 23, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Amy, waiting on God is SO HARD.. especially when we can’t get a glimpse of what He’s doing. I’m praying for you.. asking for God to pierce your darkness and give you a glimmer of light, for His Spirit to breath fresh hope and strength into your weary soul.

      January 2, 2018 at 8:08 am
  13. Tammy

    I ask for prayers for my boyfriend as he is dealing with withdrawals for lack of medication. I pray that Jesus wraps his loving arms around us and guides us until we can get everything straight. Thank you

    December 28, 2017 at 6:32 am
    1. Alicia Bruxvoort

      Echoing your prayers, Tammy.

      January 2, 2018 at 8:06 am

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