Thursday, May 28, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ A Song in the Night

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest blogger, Norma Gail   @Norma_Gail

What a joy it is to introduce you to my friend, Norma Gail. We first met on Twitter a year or so ago and realized that we are both authors with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Our friendship began with supporting each others work through retweeting and sharing posts, and quickly developed into sister-friends. Norma is a prayer warrior, a faithful friend, and a gifted writer. I pray you'll be encouraged by her post about finding a song of praise in our darkest nights.

Welcome Norma Gail!

I could not remember the last day without pain. A week of small trials, following a prolonged period of physical pain and sleeplessness made me feel trapped, as if the sun would never shine again.

When a painful condition is unseen, others doubt and are quick to accuse. It is all too frequent for people to condemn the sufferer rather than console. The widow receives comfort for a while, and then life is expected to move on. Too often, the innocent spouse receives as much judgment as the guilty. The surgical patient receives more sympathy than the sufferer of an invisible disability.

A bird perched upon a dead tree outside my window, singing as a blanket of fog wrapped me in the silence of unrelenting hurt created a powerful picture. God is as close in the throes of misery and sorrow, as in the sunshine, but it is more difficult to run to Him when surrounded by blackness and thorns.

God spoke to Job in the midst of the storm and to Elijah in a still small voice after the tumult had passed. God answers when I call to Him. He does not leave me alone in the dark, hopeless, and afraid. When it appears He has abandoned, God whispers the comfort of His presence. I only have to sit still to hear. God rarely shouts His answers. He prefers the quiet solitude of our hearts to speak His most gracious words of comfort and peace. He desires me to lean my head on His chest, leaving my burdens at His feet.

It is not chance that Jesus was called the “Man of Sorrows.” He knows my own unique pain. He will not leave me desolate. He will bring balm for my aching soul as He sent the ravens to feed Elijah at Cherith, and angels to Jesus in the wilderness. When the times of pain and darkness come, I must remember the times God has given me songs in the night, adopted children in the midst of infertility, certainty of heaven in the midst of crushing grief.

Look for Him in the darkness. Call to Him from the fog of pain. He may not take away the circumstances, but He is faithful to provide healing balm and restore singing to an aching heart. 

© Copyright Norma Gail Thurston Holtman
May 21, 2015

                            After A Long Night

What will it be like
When in Your presence I stand,
When I reach out for You
And touch Your hand?
What will it be like
When Your face I see,
When I feel Your presence
Surrounding me?
I long for the day
When all pain is gone,
When my joy and my task
Is to sing Your song.
How will I feel
When I’ve been set free—
From the pain and struggle
That now enslave me?
I long for the day
When I see Your face,
When all of my sickness
Is healed by Your grace.
You are my strength
While I walk this sod,
But, Oh, what peace
To behold my God!
There will come a day
When I understand,
And behold my scars
Upon Your hands.
When I get lost
In the fog of pain,
I cry out for Your presence,
I plead in Your Name.
You are always there,
You never delay.
But still, in my heart,
I will long for that day
When all earthly pain
And sorrow are gone,
At last and forever,
I will be at home.

© Copyright, by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, July 12, 2002 

A Tweetable to Encourage Others 


Meet Norma Gail:

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance,
Land of My Dreams, released in April 2014. She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at, the StitchesthruTime blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She and her husband of 38 years have two adult children.

Connect with Norma:

Book Links:
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore:



  1. Very beautiful! I'm not good with pain myself and am always in awe of friends who say they are in great paint, when I never would have known it. God is with them, helping them, in ways I cannot see! Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry that people doubt your pain but God knows every stroke of it.

    1. Gina, thank you for stopping by. I am so thankful that the Lord knows all about it and is there to comfort and strengthen whenever we call upon His Name. Bless you :)

  2. Awww Norma I guess my comment didn't go through. This is one of my very favorite poems ever. Thank you so much for sharing it and giving us a glimpse of God's goodness and Heaven.
    "When I see Your face,
    When all of my sickness
    Is healed by Your grace.
    You are my strength
    While I walk this sod,
    But, Oh, what peace
    To behold my God!"

    Just love that part!

    Thank you Nan for giving her a voice here. Love you both!