Songs In The Night
Walter Beuttler

This is an area of truth the Lord has made especially real to me during our last visit to New Zealand and Australia, which was in March. The area of truth has to do with the Lord's visit during the night seasons. Now to me, this is an area which we hear practically nothing. In fact, I have never heard anything about it at any time. And yet it is an area where many of God's people need light, an area of tremendous potentialities in our relationship and walk with God.

I would say it is an area in which God delights perhaps like a lover will delight in having a little private place somewhere with his or her sweetheart. They can sit together, not necessarily talking a lot, but just being together and sharing what they wouldn't want to share in public or with anybody else. I do not know how you are going to respond to this. I do not know. To me it is to God what, let's say, roses would be to sweethearts. They like to go and sit and spend time with each other. The less people who walk by, the better they like it. And yet there is a time of wholesome fellowship, communication, getting to know each other and looking forward to that time together from time to time.

I'm taking you to Psalm 17. There is an analogy here between the Lord and us. I'm injecting this: Have you ever noticed somewhere in the Gospels where it says that the Lord crossed the Brook Kidron with his disciples. Those of us who have been over there and have crossed that Brook time and again know very well that the Brook is quite small. You can very easily visualize coming down the slope from Jerusalem and remember crossing over that short little bridge going right over and up to the Mount of Olives. And it says that Jesus went across that Brook with His disciples. Then it says particularly that Jesus resorted often with His disciples. The Lord had a place on the Mount of Olives, a nook, a corner to which He resorted often with His disciples to share with them some things He wouldn't share with the public.

So the Lord likes to develop a relationship between Himself and His people. I know He likes to do it at night. I'm not saying He wouldn't do it by day, but the Lord has a particular preference, I think, for the night, not to the exclusion of the day, but because at night all is normally still. The children are sleeping, the cat is purring somewhere in the corner, and the telephone isn't likely to ring too often, unless you're a preacher - you can get it at all hours. People have no pity for preachers. They don't. They have no pity - that's true.

I was with a pastor last year. We'll be going there this year again, very shortly in fact. His telephone was going all the time, too often at night. Breakfast time, dinnertime, people paid no attention. They gave no regard whether it's the pastor's eating time or resting time. They sit there with a long telephone cord trying to eat and talk at the same time.

Do you know what he said? Somebody from the Midwest called him up at 2:30 in the morning and said, "Hey, how are you?"

Sleepily he answered, "Okay. What's on your mind?"

" Oh, I just couldn't get to sleep so I thought I'll call you up and have a little chat." At 2:30 in the morning! A man like that doesn't need to chat. He needs some sleep.

Mrs. Beuttler was there and I said to her, "This congregation is going to lose their pastor. They're killing him dead and he'll be obliged to leave to save himself and his family."

Sure enough! I gave him a date for next month. He said, "Brother Beuttler, we're getting your meeting in just in time before we leave." Well that was by way of parenthesis. That just slipped in like some things slip. Do you ever slip? Quoting from Psalm 17:3:

"Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night."

Now we go on here and go right into another line of truth. I spoke to you on "the way of the Lord in the dark." I didn't use this verse. The night is for testing, but that's not our subject. We'll have that some other time.

Thou hast visited me in the night. The Lord is a night visitor. If you ever discover that He likes to cultivate a relationship with you by being, more or less, a frequent night visitor, you could call yourself as being privileged above many. The Lord's night visits are better than The Late Show or The Late, Late Show or the X-rated movie after midnight. I think that's when they come out, I don't watch them.

There is a visiting time of the Lord with you anytime during the night. Speaking from my own experience, sometimes He sure likes to hang around for a while. David said, " Thou hast visited me in the night." In the same book of Psalms 8:3-4, we have a further comment to make.

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him; and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:3-4

Here I would simply say, "Oh the wonder of it all!" What wonder? The wonder that He who created the beautiful heavens, put the planets in their orbits, put millions (literally) of universes into space beyond any idea of the comprehension of man. Yet to think that this God condescends to simple human beings and visits them for fellowship and communion.

That's what God did in the Garden of Eden. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the cool of the day. How considerate God is of the comforts of His creatures. They didn't have air conditioning in the Garden of Eden, so the Lord selected the timing of His visits in the cool of the day, which was probably in the evening after the heat had subsided and the evening air would take over with its refreshing coolness. Over there it gets cool toward evening by night. The Lord is even considerate of our comforts. That's why He has the Holiday Inn up the hill for the Beuttlers when they come to Oakley.

"For thou wilt light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." Psalm 18:28

Now what we're doing here is this. So very few of God's people have any idea about the Lord being a night visitor that when they do have the experience, they are completely in the dark as to what to do about it. You remember Samuel. Samuel laid down to sleep. The Lord called him, "Samuel, Samuel," and he ran to Eli. He needed light, he needed revelation and understanding.

So David says, "Thou wilt light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." This is what I'm trying to say. Many of God's people need to be enlightened, come into an understanding of the experience of the Lord's visits during the night. I know that's so because some of God's people have experiences they know nothing about, do not understand, have never heard of it and don't know what to do with it. They're in the dark.

In Psalm 119:105 it says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." So this is what we're doing this morning. The Word of God, Thy word, is a light, a lamp, a candle and this morning we have a candle-lighting service. We are bringing the candle of our understanding to THE candle of the light of the Word of God. You can picture it. Suppose you all had a candle in your hand unlit. Let's say this mike (meaning microphone) is the candle of the Word of God which is lit. We're going to bring our unlit candle in this area of truth and light them at the candle of the Word of God to give us light on the Lord's visits during the night. From this candle we light the candle of our understanding to enlighten our darkness, our ignorance in the area of the Lord's night visits.

Having said this, we'll get started. First of all, suppose we are asleep and get awakened. Either the Lord knocks, rap, rap, rap, or awakens us with His Presence, which in my experience is by far the most frequent. Or He awakens us in some other way, and we have the awareness of the fact that somehow the Lord is so near, so real with a sense of His Presence. The first thing is: What are we going to do with that Presence. What are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to respond?

One of the first things that I know is to get out of bed. (Laughter) Staying in bed just does not work unless you're a cripple or something. The reason it does not work is because we don't like to get out from under those nice comfortable covers. There is a certain indecision or duality involved, a half-heartedness, and the Lord is quick to sense that. "My, it's 3:30! I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll just turn over and do my praying on the other side." And before you know it, it's 6:00 o'clock. My experience has been that it just does not work.

The Lord does not like compromise. One of the best things to do when we have an awareness of His Presence, sensing of the Spirit, He has come - the best thing we can do is get up. Sometimes the first thing I do is go and get my neck under a spigot of water. That's when you wake up. You don't wake up by putting cold water on your forehead. You wake up when cold water hits the back of your neck. When that cold water hits the back of your neck, that's where you wake up better than any other place. I guess the nervous system or something is there. I don't know, but it works.

Then we get ourselves positioned with earnestness. Remember God saying to Ezekiel one time, "Stand up on thy feet, and I will speak unto you." In other words, "Don't keep lying on the grass." God is a Sovereign. If a great man came along, you wouldn't just stay lying on the ground. I guess some of these characters we have today would. They don't give a hoot. They're rebels and revolutionaries and have to declare their independence from the system at every opportunity they get. They don't like what the system has produced, ice cream cones, coke cola, etc. They are a species of their own kind. They belong in the zoology book.

I'm not talking about these kinds of people. I'm talking about decent, normal people with human hearts. If you're lying on the ground in the park and somebody says, "The governor is coming." If he came up to you and addressed you, what would you do? " Okay doc.?" Well, if you have any respect, you'd get up on your feet and stand as a matter of courtesy. Out of respect you'd stand up. How much more with God. There is such a thing as responding to God in a respectful manner.

"When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice." Psalm 63:6-7

In this case, David apparently spent hours awake at night. I do that too. There are times when the Lord visits you and you get up, "Here I am for thy servant heareth." There are times when you just wake up and cannot go back to sleep. What better activity is there upon your bed but to remember and meditate on the Lord in the night watches when we have a waking spell and Sominex doesn't work? It doesn't work with me anyhow. What are you going to do with all that time? Well, it's a great opportunity to meditate upon the Lord, to meditate upon His Word. Psalm 101 is good to read in conjunction with this thought, "I will meditate upon thee."

Do you know what? I maintain that our Western civilization is a dying civilization. You may not agree with me. You don't have to, but can I help it if I'm right? Just as the Roman civilization became great and died and left nothing but the memories of its former glories. Have you ever gone to Rome? You walk through the Coliseums and watch it crumbling. Or you can go to the top of the hill, on top of the ruins of the palaces of the Roman Emperors, that great empire that ruled all around the Mediterranean Sea, the exclusive military power on earth that no nation could successfully challenge for a long, long time. Roman civilization was destroyed from "within" with luxuries, wealth, self-indulgence, pleasure seeking, and high taxation. The empire that was believed to last forever decayed. I think our Western civilization is beyond remedy.

Haven't you studied the Decline of the Roman Empire in school, and the history of Bernice with its final decay and corruption? I think we'll following in their path. Our greatest peril is "within." News magazines have issued warnings time and again. Just within the last week I read two of them. When you read their reasons, you may not be ready to accept them, but you have to agree that it could happen. I'm not predicting anything. How do I know? But I do think we're living in a fool's paradise.

How I got into that is this. We can say of other civilizations what we like in this area. God's people, especially in the Western world, and I'm thinking mainly of Americans, have lost some of the great values of life. For one thing we are materialistic. More pay for less work, double time for no work. (Laughter) You can disagree with me if you like, but that can ruin a nation eventually. Japan and Germany are following in this materialistic trend. It's a human deflated nature.

One thing our civilization has lost, a loss that hurts Christians because they have lost it, is the art of meditation, contemplation, thinking things out, dwelling on certain areas. The Bible has much to say on meditation. Americans want to be entertained. Instead of reading a good book for pleasure as well as for improving themselves and their language, their English vocabulary and grammar, children turn to the one-eyed monster, the TV set. There was a time when children were reading. They had books. Now they don't want to read. They watch the TV to the tremendous loss of estimable values for their future lives.

I watched a program recently on TV where a young columnist answers questions for the teenagers in the newspaper. She was asked in this interview, "How much time do you think children should spend at the television set each day?"

She answered, "Two and a half hours." Two and a half hours! Can you imagine that! You can see what's wrong with that. Children have a whole lot better things to do, such as reading among other things.

I get on these long flights in overseas travel. Say you're on a New York-Honolulu non-stop flight. That's about 10 hours. You have breakfast, then comes a program, a show. Down comes the shades, up goes the screen. Here you're a captive audience. I seldom pay any attention. Once in awhile I'll watch something, but usually it's just plain junk, either sex or crime. Apparently that's America's pleasure time. Let's admit it. The average American makes a diet of these. Doctors will tell you that you are what you eat.

What kind of people go to X-rated movies? Who are they? They are what they look at. A decent person wouldn't go there. A decent person wouldn't show them in their home either. The country could be flooded with pornography. They'd be out of business in a week if everybody were like me. I have no interest in it. Of course not. How come it's such a billion-dollar business? It's symptomatic of American society. No decent person would be interested in it. How come it's so popular? It's the people's condition of heart that makes it popular. Amen't I wicked this morning?

They've had movies on a Honolulu flight from New York that maybe lasted 4 hours. Do you suppose I take the time and sit there watching that thing? If I'm by the window, I put the shade up again after they put it down. That's my seat. I turn on the light to some complaints, but this is my seat. I have civil rights too. If I want to read my Bible or work on a new set of notes on my table while the rest of the passengers enjoy watching the smut on the screen, that's my version. Or I can leave the shade down with the light out and sit there for the longest time meditating, contemplating, fellowshipping, enjoying His Presence or evaluating a truth. What a golden opportunity on those flights to take time with the Lord in the meditation of His Word and the contemplation of Himself while others feed on the major diet of sex and violence. That's the major menu on the screen. But that's what people are. That's what they watch.

These things are a reflection of the public, the American public. They don't take pleasure in meditation and thinking, creative thinking. Those things contribute to our decline and ultimately to the destruction of this nation, or at least the cessation of this nation of a major world power. You may disagree. Let's hope you're right. I don't want it that way, but to me the parallels between the decline of Rome and Greece are too powerful in comparison to be lightly ignored. When it comes to the Lord, we need to restore the art of meditation.

In Psalm 119:55 the writer speaks about meditating on His name. I spoke on His name yesterday. We won't go back to that. Isaiah had said, " Let him trust in the name of the Lord." I told you that God's name is what He is. David then meditated on the nature of God, the goodness of God, the greatness of God, the justice of God. He loved to think about his God.

I'm sorry that I didn't speak quite freely before when I talked about governors and the like. I would have so liked to use President Nixon, but I have lost all respect. I would still stand up. I would still say, "President Nixon ," though personally I have lost all confidence or respect. Still you can act respectfully because of a man's office. That's why I avoided using him. I just cannot believe in his words myself.

"Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." Psalm 42:8

Do you ever think about the Lord's lovingkindness? How nice God is in giving us so many good things, but His kindness is also manifested in the opposite way. Whatever He does, it's done in kindness.

When I was a youngster and came home from school along a river, one of my fellow rascals challenged me, "I dare you to walk into the river with all your clothes on." I walked right into the river with all my clothes on. I took up the dare. I was a water nut anyway.

When I got home I got guilty feelings. So, I didn't want to get anybody on my back. I went right behind my table and studied my French composition. Mother said, "My it's good to see you do your composition without being told." Well, I was guilty.

My Father came home. I greeted him nicely. I was working on my composition. He looked at me and said, "Come over here, son." He felt my trousers. The rascal fellow who dared me told my Father on the way home that I had gone into the river. My Father took me to another room! He gave me an old-fashioned education on a strategical part of my anatomy that I never forgot. (Laughter) Nor did I ever go back into the river with my clothes on. That was a test too. That's a good test that's missing in American families today - failure to discipline our youngsters on the mistaken idea, "That will hurt them. It will give them an inferiority complex." That's our new psychology.

A boy throws a rotten egg at a teacher in school. The teacher doesn't dare say anything or she's got a lawsuit on her hands, or a riot. "You mustn't hurt the little boy. Yes, he threw a rotten egg, but you see, he was only expressing his true self." That theory is a contributing factor to the deterioration of our country, lack of discipline in the home. (Clapping)

Do you think we youngsters could be out all night and our parents didn't know where we were? At 10:00 o'clock you were in the house, and you better be there. Well, you might not agree with all that, but lack of discipline in the home, lack of the development of self-discipline in the children with the help of parents is a great factor in the malaise of the country of which we are a part.

True lovingkindness is not only buying lollypops. In fact, true kindness doesn't buy any. True kindness says, "No son, don't take that lollypop. Have some fruit instead." (Demonstrates child throwing a fit) Some of you are thinking, "I'm glad I'm not his kid." (Laughter) Lovingkindness doesn't just please momentary feelings to get a smile of gratitude. God in His lovingkindness does for us things we enjoy, and things for us that have to be endured. Because God, in His lovingkindness has in mind the very best for our ultimate good.

So "the Lord will command His lovingkindness ." But there are two sides to this lovingkindness. Solomon said, "He that spareth the rod, spoileth the child." True goodness and kindness toward children employs discipline judiciously when necessary. Not restraining children and not disciplining them is not lovingkindness. It isn't. That's why God disciplines us. He gives us a wallop sometimes because He's commanding His lovingkindness. It's not only by giving us a lobster dinner once in a blue moon or a nice stop at a nice hotel. There are other sides, which are all part of His lovingkindness.

I've told you I stood on the Brooklyn Bridge in despair. I went through a rough time in New York City. I spent Sunday afternoons literally crying, sobbing, sometimes incoherent. I'd cross the New York Harbor, take the ferry for a nickel and go across there into the woods and spend Sunday afternoons crying for loneliness. I didn't have a soul.

You might ask, "In New York where so many people are?"

Precisely. I was afraid. I didn't want to get into trouble of any kind with male or female. I just didn't want to go down a wrong road so I stayed alone. Then I cried. During the week walking over the city streets, not in gangs - no sir, I kept free of them. But I was lonely, bitter alone. I would sit in a restaurant with a cup of coffee just to earn a place to sit, and stay as long as you dared until the manager or somebody kept making eyes at you. You knew that before very long they would say something, "Young man, won't you please step outside and go on your way. This coffee has lasted long enough."

It was so lonely on first Christmas time. Germans make a lot of Christmas, Christmas Eve especially. We had a nice family unit. We were always together on Christmas Eve. That was the night of the year. I was in New York alone. My money was giving out. Early in the evening on Christmas Eve I had 75 cents left for the long weekend to live on. I wasn't saved then. I have a reason for telling you this.

What is Christmas Eve without a tree for a German? I went out to look for a tree and they wanted 75 cents. That's all I had. Well, what's a tree without some bulbs on it or some trimmings? So I thought, "I'll come by later and maybe they'll be cheaper." You know how those things go. So I went walking, walking, walking with such emptiness inside. I pictured the family in Germany gathered around the tree without me. I got so lonesome I thought, "If I could only see a family gathered around a Christmas tree." There was a row of houses built together and I walked up the stone steps and looked into a living room.

There was a father, mother and a bunch of children working at the tree and putting boxes under the tree. I stood there crying, just looked in, and the man saw me. When he saw me, he put his box down and I could tell from the way he came toward the door that I better clear out fast. I turned around and ran down the street. I knew no more. Apparently he went to the door to check things out. Maybe I could have gotten arrested, I don't know. I ran and went around the block and to my room.

At 10:00 o'clock I went out to buy a tree. The tree was 50 cents. That left 25 cents to buy bulbs and some trimmings. I went home to my little skylight room. It didn't have windows, just a little light in the roof. I trimmed the tree, so at least I had a tree. It was a long weekend with no money for eats. I fasted. And I sat there and cried till my heart would seem to break. I cried way past midnight until there were no more tears to come. That's hard when you have to cry and there are no more tears left.

All right, what's the idea? As I look back, God in His goodness and lovingkindness unbeknown to me let me go through this very hard situation till I became so lonely, desperately lonely, that I finally decided, "Maybe I needed religion ." I went from church to church until I landed in one that corresponded to what I felt was my need.

In front of me was a lady. She stood up and testified. I sat there and looked at her and listened to her testimony of what the Lord had done for her. I thought within my heart, "What that woman has is the thing that I need." And it wasn't long before I had it too.

But all this hardness was the lovingkindness of the Lord. It was a hard and bitter road. It wasn't lollypops and sugarplums that is for sure, folk. It was rough! But it took that to open me up to respond to Him when He said, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden."

We can spare our children, shield them too much from the hardness of life and when they grow up, they don't know how to deal with it, in a mistaken concept of goodness to our children. If we would be instructed by Solomon in Proverbs, we would recognize that a lot of what is called today Child Psychology is a lot of nonsense and ruins the children more than it is making them. I feel very strongly about this. Is it my fault if I'm right? This is what contributes to the downward trend of this nation. I'm afraid we have gone beyond the point of no return.

Again in Psalm 42:8, "In the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." So what we have here is that " the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day, and in the night his song shall be with me." There is such a thing as songs of the night. Job 35:10 puts it this way, "Who giveth songs in the night." Now you can apply that in several directions, like when I spoke yesterday about the night. When we go through the darkness, the Lord gives songs to sustain us, songs to guide us. David says in Psalm 32, "Thou encompassed me with songs of deliverance."

Watch the songs the Lord gives you. He often speaks in songs, many times. He warns in songs. I'll give you an example.

I had an itinerary that took me to South Africa and over to Australia. I had a seminar scheduled for the Congo in the interior. I'm making it short because some of you have heard me mention it, but I'll say enough for those who haven't. Everything was set and I was looking forward to the Congo visit.

A few weeks before I left I had a song in here (stomach), "Not what I will to be, nor where I wish to go, for who am I that I should choose my way." That song went over and over until finally I caught on and said, " Beuttler, the Lord's talking to you." That song kept rolling around, "Not what I will to be, nor where I wish to go, for who am I that I should choose my way." I said, "Father, is anything wrong?"

In front of me stood the words, "Congo." Something was wrong with the Congo. To make a long story shorter, I finally realized the Congo was supposed to be out.

And I argued, " I'm on my way to Johannesburg. It doesn't cost any more for the ticket to make a stop." You know how we argue. I yielded reluctantly. I had never been in the Congo, and looked forward to it, very much so. This was to be beyond Stanleyville, way in the interior. I was delighted to get back there.

I was up in Karno, that mud city in part, south of the Sahara. I was sitting up at the airport because there is where I marked the time I would have spent in the Congo. I just had to cut a week out and do nothing, which didn't hurt me. I was there sipping a Coke Cola. Three DC 6's came in five minutes apart with women and children only. They all had bundles, dolls, boxes and what have you. There was not one single man. I thought that was funny.

I went downstairs to make inquiry and the lady said, "Haven't you heard? These are the refugees from the Congo."

I said, "Refugees?"

She said, " Yes, there was a revolution."

I asked, "A revolution? Where did it break out?"

"Oh, beyond Stanleyville," and she named the city where I was supposed to have the seminar. I would have been caught right in the midst of the revolution.

As you know, many never got out. They're still there under a white cross. Some of the whites were thrown to the crocodiles in the Congo and what have you. I don't know what would have happened to me. The Lord warned me with songs of deliverance. You watch those songs.

I was sitting at the airport in Rome one night waiting for a flight to come down from Amsterdam to take me to Colombo, Ceylon. I had been told by the authorities there that my papers for Ceylon were not in order. Now that was bad in those days because these countries were very officious and strongly anti-US. They could really make it tough for you and I was worried.

I sat there waiting for that flight and noticed a song in here. It sang several times before I paid attention. It went, "I know the Lord will make a way for me." Finally, I woke up and said, "Beuttler, the Lord's trying to say something. What's He saying?" "I know the Lord will make a way for me." You know the chorus. I thought, "Oh! The Lord is going to help me out of my predicament." My papers were not in order.

I got to Ceylon early in the morning. There was a little be-speckled Indian man behind the desk looking through my papers. I prayed and asked God, "I think I'm better off if I volunteer what is wrong than let him find it. It might make them think I want to get away with something."

So I said, "Sir, I have a problem." While I talked to him, down here I prayed and said, "God, you let me know that You would make a way. Here is Your chance." I told the man what happened. Apparently our office of the Assemblies of God in New York had made an error. He could have kept me out of the country.

He asked, "What's the error?" I pointed it out to him while I prayed, " Oh God, it's Your turn."

He looked up and said, "Sir, I think I could fix that for you. Would you like me to?"

I said, "I'd be so grateful. Certainly!"

"Thou encompasses me with songs of deliverance." Wife and I went to the doctor, year ago now, and the verdict was not good. She was crying. I felt like it because of what it meant. We went back to the railroad station so downhearted. As we went back there was a song, "Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace, tidings of Jesus, redemption and release." I went to the hospital. Tomorrow morning would be the day or the night.

That evening three preachers came and said, " Brother Beuttler, we want to pray for you." They prayed for me. The next morning they wheeled me up to the operating room.

The doctor said, "Now before we go ahead, we want to take another look." Then he said, " What's happened? What's happened?"

I said, "Three preachers came and prayed for me last night." (Laughter)

He said, "I don't understand, cancer just doesn't act that way. I don't know whether we should operate. Look, we'll let you go."

"Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace." Watch for songs of deliverance. Watch these songs. They may be worship, but very often they are His method of speaking. Watch them. Sometimes the songs prepare us for something unexpected. It helps condition you.

I had some meetings in France about 2 hours express train north of Paris. The meetings were finished, good meetings. Going back to Paris that train flew down the tracks. As it went there was a song, "Lift me up above the shadows, lift me up and let me stand, on the mountaintop of glory"... Over and over it went. Finally I realized the Lord was trying to say something so I paid attention. I recognized the Lord was speaking to my heart in prayer to him "to lift me up above the shadows, to lift me up and let me stand." I said, "Lord, I don't understand. There are no shadows. I had good meetings, tremendous meetings."

That's a story in itself what God did up there. He broke down all hostility of the French pastors who had no use for Americans and opened up France and all North Africa for ministry for me. North African countries were under French rule at that time. That's another story. I felt good. We had good meetings, but the song wouldn't stop.

I checked in the hotel there in Paris where I usually stay, the Anglo-American. I wouldn't want to go there again though in case some of you regard this as a recommendation. It's a low-priced hotel and used to be all right if you wanted to economize, but because of that it has attracted the riff-raff of American society, slobs, the uncouth, American youth. They're not all that way, but some are. They are those that make you instinctively ashamed that you're being recognized as an American as they are. It's a reflection on you, so I wouldn't want to go there today because of it.

The clerk handed me some mail. One was from Wife and I put her letter last because I keep the best for the last. When I read that letter it said something like, "Dear Daddy, I'm writing you from the hospital. You remember that we agreed that I should have a check-up. The doctor told me that he thought there was a malignancy. So I'm still here and they're taking further tests, and if they all collaborate and surgery would be necessary, I'm going to go through with it." Well now I knew why the Lord gave me that song, "Lift me up above the shadows." They came fast. That was a shocker!

I wondered, "Now what am I going to do?" I knew what the Lord wanted me to do and I knew what I wanted to do in the natural - go home fast. I knew the Lord didn't want me to go home. He had given me an errand. I was an ambassador. I had no choice. I was under orders to go into Africa and on the way home to Iceland, of all places. Many of you in the service that served in Iceland know what I mean about that God-forsaken, treeless, flowerless, desolate and barren island. I had a fight for a couple of hours or so. My decision was made. I stood up and talked to God.

I pointed my finger and said, "Father, I'm going to talk to you. You knew that Wife would be in this situation before I left. You sent me anyhow, therefore I cannot go home. If I were not an ambassador with a mission, I could go home. If You kill my Wife (that's how I put it), I want you to know I'm not going home even for her funeral. I'll go home at the end of my work at the end of the summer. I'll visit her grave then. In the meantime, no matter what happens there, I want You to know, I'm carrying on Your mission."

She did not say for me to come home, merely said that she was letting me know what's happening. What made it worse was the little girl in the family kept whining, "Where is my Mummy? Where is my Daddy? Why doesn't my Daddy come?" Those things kill you as you, bearing your cross. But when you're under assignment, you're under assignment. The army doesn't tell a soldier, "It's all right to go to Vietnam." He better go or he won't be a soldier long. You know what I mean.

I know what Jesus meant when He said, "He that forsaketh not father, mother, wife, children, houses, lands for my sake for the gospel is not worthy of me." That was the test.

I wrote a letter that I wasn't coming home and got to the mailbox. It was hardly in the slot down in the street when I said, "I cannot do that to that girl," pulled the letter back and went for a walk. I went back to mail the letter, opened the slot and pulled it back again. I said, "I can't do it ." I argued with myself, "Beuttler, you must do it. I can't. You must." I went back again, had the letter halfway in and debated. Finally I gave it a shove and it went in. I turned and ran down the street as fast as I could.

I went to Africa. I was there two weeks before I heard the first word. I opened the letter, "Dear Daddy, I'm still in the hospital. It wasn't a malignancy. It was just a cist and they took care of it. I'm having a fine vacation. In a few days I'm going home. Everything is well."

But I was over in Africa preaching every day with questions as to what is happened, "Is she buried? If so, where?" But down from Rouen, the Spirit had warned me, "Lift me up above the shadows." I recognized then that God was fully aware and helped to sustain. Folks, the Lord takes us through all kinds of nights and darkness, but in either case, He gives songs in the night.

Now I'm only half finished with this, but I'll keep the other one on the back burner just in case someday we'll meet again. "He giveth songs in the night." There we can cultivate His visits, our fellowship, meditating on Him, being taught by Him, having a revelation of His Word and in a situation where He gives us different experiences where He visits for a specific purpose.

For instance, He comes to warn; He comes to deliver; He comes to guide; He comes to assure; He comes to reassure when we are in deep, deep trouble and all hope seems to be gone. I can't go into that because of time. In the meantime, "What is man that thou visiteth him?" David said, " Thou hast visited me in the night season," and if you will let Him visit you and recognize His visit and respond, the Lord will open for you another dimension in the secrets of the knowledge of God and the glories of His Presence.