“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalms 130:5–6 NIV)
Waiting is not something we normally delight in. A month ago I was on a short flight back to London and the plane was put in a holding pattern to land. The time we were circling London was almost as long as the flight was supposed to take. My fellow passengers and I disembarked the plane with a distinct sense of grumpiness.
However, some kinds of waiting have delight attached. Witness the painful delight of children as their birthday approaches, or the exquisite delight of the waiting for the wedding day for an engaged couple. Their waiting only increases the delight of the special day when the waiting is over. This is the kind of waiting experienced by the Psalmist.
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalms 5:1–3 NIV)
When we pray and lay our requests before the Lord we know several things.
We know who we are waiting for. We know that it is our soul we are consciously putting in a submissive waiting mode for God. We know that the reason we are doing this is because we believe in the teaching and promises of God’s word. We know that we can have hope because of this.
Do we reflect enough on the promises of God’s word? Perhaps if we did we would have a stronger sense of hope. For example, if we believe the truth of a passage like Eph 1:13-14 it will have a profound effect on how we pray.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13–14 NIV)
Why not pray through the promises contained in these verses?
The watchmen are waiting until their shift is over, waiting for dangers of the night to pass. Two friends of mine have had different experiences of newborn babies. One slept through most nights and the other did not. One dad looked normal, the other rather rough. The one up all night was looking forward to the morning eagerly.
Sometimes our ‘night’ can seem endless, but ‘morning’ is coming, even if we do not know when it will dawn. Because we know it is coming we wait in hope – patiently,
“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:25 NIV)
God cares – therefore, by faith, we watch and wait. This adds up to hope.