“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” - Psalm 130:5-6
One of the most challenging aspects of God’s call on our lives is to wait, to hope and trust in the future he promises, regardless of what is happening in the present. Psalm 130 is beautiful and moving in its entirety, but I particularly love the imagery in the passage above. The watchmen had good reason to long for the morning. First of all, darkness was dangerous. It was far easier for enemy forces to approach undetected under cover of night. As the first line of defense against a surprise attack, the sentries were also the first target of the adversaries, who sought to silence them before they could sound the alarm.
As crucial and perilous as their duty was, it could also be exceedingly dull. There is a common military saying that war is “hours of interminable boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.” I suspect that is an apt description of the night watch as well. Most of the time, nothing happened. No one approached or attacked. Instead, hour after hour passed in darkness and heavy silence. As anyone who has worked the nightshift can attest, it is extremely difficult to adjust our circadian rhythms. These men not only had to stay awake but also vigilant in case the enemy attacked; people’s lives depended on them. As dawn approached, I imagine their eyes scanned the horizon for the first shafts of light, knowing that daybreak would bring safety and rest.
All of us will experience periods of darkness in this fallen world. Like the watchmen, we are called to endure and remain vigilant against the enemy’s attacks. Just as they longed for the rising sun, we are to place our hope and expectations in the risen Son and the eternal life he promises. What does that look like in our day and age? Mark Richt, former college football coach and current commentator, recently announced he has Parkinson’s disease. His statement read, in part: “Truthfully I look at [th]is as momentary light affliction compared to the future glory in heaven. Thank you Jesus for promising us a future blessing of a glorified body that has no sin and no disease. In the meantime I am going to enjoy the blessings that I do have.” What an incredible declaration of faith, hope, and gratitude! While he knows that his remaining time on earth will be difficult and painful, his eyes are set on the eternal glory that awaits.
When darkness threatens to engulf us, may we fix our gaze on the horizon and trust in the Light of the World.
Reflect and Respond:
How does God’s promise of eternal glory and peace change your perspective on your current circumstances? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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