Monday, December 15, 2008

Waiting like a watchman...


How do you wait?
Waiting for something you not only want, but need desperately seems impossible to do when you've already waited for what feels like forever.
Waiting patiently is what we feel like we're "supposed" to do. But it also feels impossible.

I've been "waiting" for my house to sell for 23 months now... and I put my house on the market to begin with in response to what the Lord told me to do. For me, the act of putting my house on the market was one of submission to both the Lord, and my husband. I submitted my will and began to "desire" what He wanted for me instead of what I wanted for me.

And then... the market dropped. I did everything possible to make my house more desirable in this "buyers market". I removed my family photos, kept everything super clean, reorganized the kids rooms to look more like model home rooms instead of personalized... "staged" each room for showings... allowed my life to be put on hold countless times so that strangers could walk through and criticize my decorations or discover that my yard wasn't as large as they had hoped. I would take the dog (and all of his HAIR) for hour long rides in the car as these strangers expected my daily life and work to just drop at their command. And I waited for the Lord to send the buyer He had in mind for my house. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I gave thanks to the Lord for working in my own heart and for working in my husband's heart through this whole process. And I prayed and prayed and prayed.

And each month that passed felt like an eternity.. and began to wear out my patience, my hope, and my faith.

I no longer got excited that "this might be the one" when I had a showing. I no longer felt anything but disdain for this whole process, as well as for my house. And I began to wonder if praying was ever going to work. I began to wonder if God was even listening.. and I began to let the doubt, and fear, and weariness wear me down. I felt like a child in the dark, hiding in the closet, covering her ears to the threats all around her, just wishing it would end.Then I stopped praying. I got comfortable in my figurative dark closet. I began to wear the doubts, and fears and lies from the enemy that God wasn't going to help because I must have messed up somewhere along the way.

and still the house didn't sell.

But somewhere deep inside my heart I began to hear the Lord calling my attention back to Him, and back to His Word.
"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."
Psalm 130: 5-6
The beginning of this verse inspired me.. and I wanted to be able to say this was true of my heart. But the second part of it confused me and seemed to be more important for me to understand. What is a watchman? What does he do? How can my soul wait for the Lord even MORE than the watchmen wait for the morning?

I posed this question out loud as my daughter was getting ready for school right beside me. And she described to me what she thought a watchman was. "A watchman is like in the army... and it's dark outside... so he has to stay on guard all night to make sure no one attacks them before the sun comes up. "

and then I began to get a picture in my mind of what a watchman does.

Alone in the dark, it is his duty to protect his "camp" from the enemy. He stays on guard throughout the night.. and his attention is heightened BECAUSE it it dark! He can't see what's coming.. he doesn't know what's coming to attack. He doesn't know which angle the enemy is going to come from so he is vigilant to look in every direction as he maintains his guard. And he KNOWS that the sun will rise in the morning! He KNOWS without a doubt that when the sun comes up, his job will be a little easier because then he can SEE where the enemy is coming from! The night might seem long.. but he waits for the morning on FULL ALERT!

He doesn't lay down and cry and give into the darkness that surrounds him. He doesn't stop watching because it's only midnight and morning seems to far off. He knows that every minute that passes brings him one minute closer to the morning.

"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."
Psalm 130: 5-6
How can I wait like this? It's not about "patience". It's about CONFIDENCE!! Waiting like the watchman is having confidence that the sun will rise in the morning.

If I KNOW that the sun will rise everyday with 100% certainty...

then my soul must KNOW that the Lord will come through on His Word with 200% certainty!!! This is a whole new concept for me today! I am one minute closer to seeing God come through for me and my family right now! The 23 months that have passed only prove that my "morning" is close!

I'm putting my hope in His Word and will wait for his promises to me even MORE than the watchman waits for the morning!