Work, for the night is coming, Work thru the morning hours; Work while the dew is sparkling, Work 'mid springing flow'rs. Work when the day grows brighter, Work in the glowing sun; Work, for the night is coming, When man's work is done.
Work, for the night is coming, Work thru the sunny noon; Fill brightest hours with labor - Rest comes sure and soon. Give ev'ry flying minute Something to keep in store; Work, for the night is coming, When man works no more.
Work for the night is coming. This is a great old hymn written by Anna Louise Coghill sometime around 1859. We know nothing of the circumstances that prompted her to write it, but it is as relevant today as it was then. It can be interpreted in many different ways but I think that the most accurate interpretation involves our Christian life.
We work for the night and yet our spiritual DAY. Saint Matthew tells us Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
That involves work. Not the physical labor we engage in every day. Spiritual work. Do we dedicate time to prayer? Do we dedicate time to study in God's Word? Do we care for the downtrodden? The poor? The widow, the fatherless? Are we working for our comfort here with no thought for our eternal destination?
Death is in essence our physical night. When we leave this world what has been done is past. It cannot be changed; it cannot be altered. But for the Christian comes that Day; the race when ran has finished, our course set and done. And what we did in that race is affected by the work done before that physical night. What we have in store WILL determine our rest. Our work will be tested as by fire an what remains will be our reward. But reward should not be what drives us. The Psalmist expresses the approach we shoould take in our works perfectly in his One Hundred and Fifteenth Psalm:
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.
We give Him glory when we work like the night is coming. Because it is. And when He comes, may each and every one of us, like St. Paul say, I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith.......and there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.
Some glorious morning Jesus will come. Some golden daybreak battles all won. He'll shout the victr'y break through the blue. Some golden morning, for me, for you.
Something in store. To the last minute.So that we hear those words well done my good and faithful servant. That is our store.
Work, for the night is coming, When man works no more.