Rite of passage: The night is coming
I don’t remember ever being afraid of the night.
When I was growing up, the setting sun and the first appearance of evening stars brought me great delight.
We lived out in the country, so the Moore boys anxiously awaited the advent of dusk and the arrival of the lightning bugs. Their rhythmic, pulsating flashes made my little heart race. I spent many evenings running through the fields with a glass jar, trying to capture as many of the tiny creatures as I could. As I pressed my eyes against the smooth wall of the jar, I felt a sense of awe at the One who created such amazing little beings.
When we finished our lightning bug wrangling, my brothers and I liked nothing better than lying outside on a clear night.
We lived far enough away from the city to see the plethora of little lights that poked through the night canopy to wink down at us. Every once in a while, God gave us a double feature and tried to sneak a shooting star across the sky. But even He couldn’t get anything past a sharp-eyed group of little boys.
The Bible has plenty to say about the night. Several weeks ago, I wrote about the “musts;” the things we must do. God has designed most of life’s musts. We must eat, we must drink, we must sleep and according to John 9:4, “we must do the works of Him Who sent me.”
God has given us the outline of those works: to go and make disciples among all nations, tribes, tongues and people groups. The motivation behind this is the glorious fact that He “so loved the world” (John 3:16). God believes if we have Him in our life, what matters to Him should matter to us. You matter. I matter. Homeless people matter. Orphans matter.
Widows and widowers matter. Single parents matter. Unemployed people matter. And on some days, even Baptists matter to God.
In the end, everybody matters to God—and they should matter to me, too. I don’t understand all that happens in this journey called life, but so many people seem to stop caring about others as they travel through. Their words and actions display their belief that the only ones who matter are . . . themselves.
I see this attitude in the younger age group, now labeled the “Me” generation. What I notice in the lives of these individuals represents a cultural shift found throughout our country. So many of us want to know what the government can do for us and what benefits we can get for ourselves. It’s all about me.
All parents want to see themselves in their children, and God is no different. It must break His heart when He sees people who carry His name, but don’t have His compassion and concern for others.
I grew up in a community that had the habit of helping its neighbors. My dad used to take his farm equipment over to other farmers’ fields so they could work together to bring in the crops. And when our family needed assistance, our neighbors worked together to help us, too. This community understood the truth that “we” matters more than “me.”
If you study the Bible, you’ll find it’s all about “we”: “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow . . .” (Eph. 4:15); “We must do the works of Him Who sent me” (John 9:4). As believers, we have been asked to partner with the Holy Trinity in caring for others. In fact, as we grow in Christ, we learn we can’t do anything as a “me.” Remember? Jesus said without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Not only has God has given us a job description, but He has also given us a time frame in which to accomplish His work. His Word imparts a sense of urgency because “The night is coming when no man can work” (John 9:4).
We must work while we still have light. And there goes that sense of awe in my heart again. God’s urgency creates an urgency within me to do His will. I must send more students to Cambodia. Why? The night is coming. I need to send more students to Peru, to the jungles of Panama and to many other parts of the world. Why? The night is coming.
We must place in our children the urgency God has placed within us. We can have no better motivation than the love of Christ that compels us and the short amount of time left to accomplish His work. My heart beats: the night is coming . . . the night is coming . . . the night is coming.
Walker Moore is president of AweStar Ministries in Tulsa, P.O. Box 470265, Tulsa 74147, email [email protected]/org. Phone 800/AWESTAR (293-7827.