I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. (NLT)
In the days of the Psalmist, a watchman was a very important person and yet someone who couldn’t make things happen. He kept alert so the people of the city could stay safely asleep. He can’t make the night go faster, but then again, he is confident that the night will end. His watching and waiting are not futile or fearful. The dawn will come.
And so we are to be like the watchman and wait, confident that something will come to pass but not able to actually make it come to pass. We wait confident of the goodness of God but we cannot bully or manipulate in order to have that goodness made plain.
Waiting is hard work and is the essence of hope. Waiting suggests we are not those who make things happen, but those who trust that God in his own good time will work out his good purposes. But waiting is not inactivity. Think of someone who waits on tables: they are serving, not sitting around doing nothing. Let Eugene Peterson explain:
“Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying.”
We wait in hope for a future yet to be revealed, sure that it will be revealed. We watch, trusting that our particular night will become day.