For thou art my lamp, O LORD; and the LORD will lighten my darkness.
—2 Samuel 22:29
Blessed Lord, Thou art my light. Accepted in Thy righteousness, I am clothed with the sun. Dark in myself, I am light in Thee. Often hast Thou turned my gloomy night into sunny day. Indeed, Lord, and with a love not less tender, Thou hast sometimes turned my morning of joy into a night of weeping, yet Thou hast made my very grief to sing. Thou hast fringed many a dark cloud of my pilgrimage with Thy golden beams. In Thy light, I have seen light on many a gloomy and mysterious dispensation of my covenant God. By Thy light, I have walked through darkness in many a long and lonely stage of my journey. Oh, how hast Thou gone before me each step Thou dost bid me to travel! Thou, too, didst pass through Thy night of solitude, suffering, and woe. But Thou wast deprived of the alleviations which Thou dost so graciously and tenderly give to me. Not a beam illumined, nor a note cheered the midnight of Thy soul. The light of the manifested fatherhood was hidden from Thy view, and in bitter agony didst Thou exclaim, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” All this didst Thou willingly endure that I might have a song in the night of my grief. Thus Thy darkness becomes my light; Thy suffering, my joy; Thy humiliation, my glory; Thy death, my life; Thy curse, my crown.
Oh Lord, it is a blessed night of weeping in which I can sing of Thy sustaining grace, Thy enlivening presence, Thy unfaltering faithfulness, and Thy tender love. How well hast Thou instructed me in Thy school! How patiently and skillfully hast Thou taught me! I could not have done without Thy teaching and Thy discipline. With not one night of suffering, with not one chastising stroke, with not one ingredient in my cup of sorrow could I have safely dispensed. All was needful. And now I can see with faith, the reflex action that surveys all the past, the infinite wisdom and skill, integrity and gentleness, with which Thou appointed all and overruled all the incidents and windings of my history. I cover my face with more shame and self-abhorrence and lay my mouth in the dust before Thee, because Thou has brought light out of my darkness, educed good from my evil, and overruled all my mistakes and departures for my greater advance and Thy richer glory. Thou art now pacified toward me for all that I have done (Ezek. 16:63). I have stumbled, and Thou hast upheld me. I have fallen, and Thou hast raised me up. I have wandered, and Thou hast restored. I have wounded myself, and Thou hast healed me. Oh, what a God hast Thou been to me! What a father, what a friend! Will I ever distrust Thee, ever disbelieve Thee, ever wound Thee, ever leave Thee more? A thousand times over, Lord—even, this very moment, but for Thy restraining grace. Hold Thou me up, and I will be safe.
Excerpt from: Morning Thoughts by Octavius Winslow