When the Sun Rises at Midnight

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. – Psalm 139:1-10 (NIV)

I’m no saint. I’m just a regular person.

Most of my days are filled with battles. I win some. I lose a lot more.

I fall down and skin my knees. I get up and brush myself off and crying, I keep walking. Just like everyone else, I suppose.

And yet, sometimes I am almost breathless with the awareness of God’s Presence in my life.

How come nobody ever told me that God loves normal people? That Jesus loves to hang out with skinned-kneed people?

He does.

On the overnight flight to London during my recent trip to Sudan, I sat restlessly trapped in the middle of a row. I put my iPod on and played some quiet music, but sleep never came. And in the middle of that long, long night, I heard a whisper.

Close your eyes. I’m here.

And though I didn’t sleep, my eyes closed, and peace slid in around me.

I watched the sun set from that plane that night but the sky never grew dark—not really—before I watched the sun rise from that very same window. I looked at the clock as the sky lightened. It was midnight at home. And I was gripped by the irony of watching the sun rise at midnight. And then, by the truth that God works that way. That just when the night is hard and endless, He allows the sun to rise at midnight.

Have you ever thought the night would never end? Have you ever experienced a sunrise at midnight?

About Sarah Salter


  1. Ok I read it …. That was cool… Thanks… I did that I guess when I went to Germany…

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    LOL! Thanks, Barbara! I was starting to wonder if I had lost you forever. Feel free to drop back in just any ol’ time! 🙂

  3. Some nights seem interminable but like you said for every darkness in my life there has been a glorious Son rise. Love the picture!

  4. Beautiful imagery.

  5. I love it when God invades our normal moments with a Divine moment…always leaves me speechless….and if you ask my family, that’s not easy to do.

    Thanks for sharing your visit with us!

  6. Beautiful description. I’ve experienced this many times and many of them on a plane as well (coincidence?). Maybe it’s just having the extended down time to reflect on God’s goodness and greatness. It lends itself to ‘feeling’ His presence. Love this, Sarah. Thanks.

  7. God held me on my flight to Uganda – they are precious moments indeed when we swim in His presence!

  8. Most recently? Alaska in July. Your time in Sudan sounds amazing and wonder-drenched. Hope you’re well!

  9. I sometimes think of God as specializing in remodels. Who wants to remodel pretty? He looks at the tattered, the jagged, the skinned-knee broken, and He sees incredible potential. He sees treasure waiting to be revealed.

    I’ve said often I’m an “Extreme Makeover, Soul Edition.” In my midnight, I saw the Sonrise. The ensuing endless day has had its hours of heavy clouds and shadows speaking trepidation, but the night has never returned.

    I really liked this Sarah. I’d have loved to share the moment with you. But it was surely a sunrise He painted as a special gift just for you.

  10. Our God never sleeps. And he loved us ordinaries. I’m so thankful He covered You with His presence and peace.

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