2Samuel 7:4 “And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan…”
Believe me, I am not one who enjoys getting out of bed before the sun even hits the snooze button on its alarm clock. If it were up to me, I would prefer stumbling to the coffee pot in daylight. But that’s not my life – I’m a school bus driver. 5 o’clock mornings are my norm.
But I am also a pastor. A shepherd. And because I am a shepherd of souls, I sometimes have to do like the shepherds of old, keep watch over my flock by night. That requires being on call all the time, including the dark times. And when I say “dark times,” I mean that literally and figuratively.
Just like the time mentioned above, sometimes shepherding involves looking out for your sheep while they sleep. In the Christmas story we read of shepherds “keeping watch over their flocks by night.” Why? Because evidently wolves and thieves work third shift, too. It’s in the dark times that pastors and intercessors are needed most.
It was in the night that “the word of the LORD came unto Nathan.” What would have happened if Nathan had refused to wake up? What would have happened had he refused to listen, but instead said, “I have GOT to get some sleep?”
This morning, at 2:30 a.m., the Lord placed a prayer on my heart. He gave me a “vision in the night.” I could have griped, rolled over, looked at the clock, and asked, “Why now?” Instead, I sat up on my elbows and began to intercede for the one God placed on my heart, and for a ministry for which he has given me a burden. What would have happened had Nathan refused the word meant for King David, all because it was after working hours? Would the Temple have been built by God’s design?
Have you ever woken up at night with another person on your heart? When that happens, what do you do? You see, dark times come at all times, especially when it’s most inconvenient. As a matter of fact, the “darkness” may even be a difficult time in your own life. It may be in the wee hours of your own “night” that God chooses to speak.
Don’t ignore Him. He wouldn’t call in the middle of the night if it wasn’t important.