My Night Hymn

  • May 17, 2017
  • #9143

When trials and adversities overwhelm, ask the Holy Spirit to give you songs in the night.

My Night Hymn

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I have a favorite hymn I love to sing in the night when I can’t sleep. You may not know it, but I think it’ll resonate.

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me.
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
Oh, who am I that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die.* 

I tell you what, if you do know that one, write me because I'm sure not many people remember that hymn. You know, it can be an old one like this one or maybe a contemporary praise chorus, it could be a gospel song from the 30’s, or one modern hymns by the Getty’s. It doesn't matter, just so the words speak of our great God and Savior (and that I can reach the high notes). Well, for 35 years on Joni and Friends radio, I have been singing my heart out to you, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do more. I love sharing with you the hymns that minister to my heart when things are hard, especially at night when I cannot sleep.

I've told you this before, but for me, being paralyzed and lying in bed it’s so claustrophobic. Add to that a dark room, and pain in my back, and it can feel choking. At least when I'm sitting up, I can flail my arms around, but when lying down, gravity is my enemy. And so to comfort myself, I will sing (very quietly so as to not wake my husband). And a favorite at night is this old Anglican hymn I just sang for you.

Charles Spurgeon once wrote, "Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest. The difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight, but he is skillful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read one note by. That’s when you sing from the heart. So, lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless He Himself give the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip. Then, since our Maker gives 'songs in the night', let us wait upon Him for the music." 

Well friend, I don't know how your day—or your evening— is going, but perhaps you find yourself in a season when "no wind is stirring," as Spurgeon puts it. These are lean days for you, hard days, and you find that spiritually, there's no song in your heart. Well maybe it's time you asked God to put a song back in your heart. Job, chapter 35, promises us that God gives us songs in the night. Not just daytime music when you've got enough light to read the notes, but nighttime songs when all around you is dark. That’s when heaven-sent music can comfort you, and remind you you're not alone in the night. And if you find you have no power to sing when adversity overwhelms you, ask the Holy Spirit to touch your lips, so to speak, with a coal from the altar. Let him put a song back in your heart. Oh, and this month, we are celebrating 35 years of radio for Joni and Friends—let me hear from you. Let me know if you enjoy these programs when we sing together. And who knows, maybe in the dark, you'll join me in singing a little harmony. Again, come to my radio page. Let me know what you think; let me know what you sing at

*Music: "My Song Is Love Unknown” by Samuel Crossman, Public Domain

© Joni and Friends


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