Watch While You Wait
Today’s blog stems from one of my daily Bible readings during Holy Week from a familiar passage of scripture in the 26th chapter of St. Matthew beginning with verse 36. Jesus goes to the grove of Gethsemane accompanied by Peter, James, and John. At some point Jesus stops and instructs the disciples to sit there while He goes off privately to pray. Jesus admits to them that He is very distressed to the point of grief and asks them to stay there and keep watch for Him. He knows that great suffering and impending death is near, but yet He wants the will of the Father to be done. He knew His life’s mission on earth (and death) was to bring salvation to the world. He came to take the sins of the world upon His shoulders. What Jesus asks of the disciples seems so simple, yet they failed Him not once but three times. Each time He goes away to pray, leaving them with the same request, He returns to find them sleeping. Even though they failed Him in these last critical hours of His life, He finds it within His Spirit not to betray or dismiss them.
As I revisited this experience over and over God revealed His message. Of course, our natural bodies require rest and sleep; we’re not robots and no one knows that better than the Creator. But some of us have been lulled or should I say even lured into a deep sleep. We are almost “unconscious” to what is going on around us! Jesus was simply asking that His disciples to stay awake and alert. I am reminded of the idiom “sleeping with one eye open”. In a nutshell it means either stay awake or sleep very lightly so as to remain alert, aware, or cautious. When our two daughters were teenagers and began going out at night with the car, I came to know exactly what that meant. They declared I had “super sonic” hearing because I was always awake no matter how quiet they tried to be when they came into our carpeted bedroom to let me know they were home and kiss me goodnight. Of course there were times when I drifted into a twilight sleep but I never lost awareness of the time and that fact that they were still out.
No matter how dark the night, or how long the test, it is imperative that we remain vigilant as we wait on God to act on our behalf. While God is working, we must remain alert and aware of what is happening around us. If we allow ourselves to “fall asleep”, we run the risk of missing God’s answers, His direction, and will for our lives, or even worse being overcome by adversity.
We know God is always working for the good of those who love Him, even when we don’t see Him or feel Him. He works according to His time schedule. Although we may feel distanced from Him due to challenges and trials that overwhelm us, His Word promises that we are never forsaken.
“But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord
and with confidence in Him I will keep watch;
I will wait [with confident expectation] for the
God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”
Micah 7: 7 (AMP)