Who hasn’t awakened from troubling dreams in the dark silence of the early morning with what seems a supernatural perspective on the stream of time and one’s place in it. Reality is amplified. Vivid memories of past sins and lost opportunities unleash powerful, deeply repressed emotions. One’s sense of God’s presence and holiness is overwhelming. We feel the crushing weight of more truth than we think ourselves capable of bearing.
This kind of nocturnal encounter with God is described in the timeless words of Scripture:
“For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men, and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man; he keeps back his soul from the Pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:14-18 RSV)
“I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.” (Psalm 16:7 NKJV)
“You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night” (Psalm 17:3 NKJV)
“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” (Psalm 63:6 NKJV)
Experiences like these only come by God’s grace. We would never seek them on our own.