Waiting in Anticipation
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Psalm 130:6
Every May Day (May 1) in Oxford, England, an early morning crowd gathers to welcome spring. At 6:00, the Magdalen College Choir sings from the top of Magdalen Tower. Thousands wait in anticipation for the dark night to be broken by song and the ringing of bells.
Like the revelers, I often wait. I wait for answers to prayers or guidance from the Lord. Although I don’t know the exact time my wait will end, I’m learning to wait expectantly. In Psalm 130 the psalmist writes of being in deep distress facing a situation that feels like the blackest of nights. In the midst of his troubles, he chooses to trust God and stay alert like a guard on duty charged with announcing daybreak. “I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning” (v. 6).
The anticipation of God’s faithfulness breaking through the darkness gives the psalmist hope to endure even in the midst of his suffering. Based on the promises of God found throughout Scripture, that hope allows him to keep waiting even though he has not yet seen the first rays of light.
Be encouraged if you are in the middle of a dark night. The dawn is coming—either in this life or in heaven! In the meantime, don’t give up hope but keep watching for the deliverance of the Lord. He will be faithful.
In Psalm 130:5–6 the word wait(s) appears five times. In the Lord’s development of our personal faith, He often delays an answer to prayer to deepen our trust in Him. At times this can be perplexing. Asking for His intervention for a wayward child or for healing of a painful illness often carries a sense of urgency. We pray, “Lord, I need your help now!” But “waiting on the Lord” takes discipline and develops a perseverance in our faith that only steadfastness can yield. Abram waited years for Isaac, the child of promise, to finally be given to him. And this was through Sarah’s unlikely conception when she was advanced in years and beyond the age of childbearing. Yet God’s sovereign hand was orchestrating these events. Abram waited on God in prayer, and eventually God granted him offspring too numerous to count (Genesis 12; 16:10; 17:1–19).
What prayers are you waiting for God to answer? In what ways might your heavenly Father be developing your faith as you wait?