I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning
- Psalm 130:5-6 NASB
Establishing Our Need for Light
It’s interesting to me that most people are unable to find themselves in a deep sleep with the lights on. Not because I can. I can’t. I enjoy a dark room when it’s time for bed. But I find it intriguing that our physical bodies - for the majority of people - require pitch black rooms to find themselves in the greatest place of rest; and while it scientifically makes sense, I believe it has created a behavior within us that resists the ability to find rest for our souls in the brightest of lights. As our souls yearn for the darkness to vanish from our situations, as we look for the sorrow, depression, angst and worry of our lives to disappear, we operate in a lifestyle unable to establish a sense of peace as the light remains steady and the shadows disappear.
Think about it. God gave us the sun to establish His light on the earth for x amount of hours a day, and how many of us can say we actually acknowledge it? We wake up expecting the sun to be suspended in the sky. But when the sun goes down, we are quick to acknowledge the presence of darkness and strive to find the nearest light switch. I believe the same is true in regards to how we treat our souls. We walk through life, not acknowledging the presence of God’s light, peace and mercy in our lives. Then the day comes, when we’re over stressed, consumed by uncertainty, and/or disillusioned with our realities and we give all our attention to the darkness, begging for God to bring grace into our situations, unaware what we are pleading for was present all along.
Yet, if Jesus calls us to find rest in Him, the Light of the world, then we are called and created to find rest, not in darkness, but in light. We have not been created to search for the goodness of God’s light only when darkness appears, but to cling to it when it comes. Only then will we be able to live through the hope we have in the promises of God. We have been created to exist - to live, breath and operate - in the light, and this includes finding rest for our souls.
Our Call Beyond a Watchman
Our call to find rest for our souls is revealed in the heart of the psalmist, who wrote Psalm 130, a psalm where he illustrated our duty goes beyond that of the watchmen.
Watchmen are stationed to keep an eye on the kingdom throughout the night. Their hope is that the sun will rise and radiate itself upon the darkness surrounding the kingdom. As the sun rises, the hidden places in the forests, valleys, etc. are exposed and the potential threats of misfortune are revealed in plain sight. So many of us have the heart of the watchman, in the sense that when we find ourselves in misfortune, when we are experiencing loss and tragedy, when we are uncertain of our situations, we turn towards God with a hope that He will illuminate the darkness. The crippling aspect of this position is that when the morning comes, the watchmen are released. Their hope ends when the light shines. Similarly, as we await for the light to shine, we are thankful when it comes because we often leave our positions and continue with our everyday lives.
The psalmist wrote, my soul waits for the Lord, more than the watchman in the morning; indeed more than the watchmen in the morning, revealing if we are to find rest for our souls, we must await more of God’s goodness even when His light shines. We must understand that God’s grace, mercy and faithfulness are not just pathways out of the darkness. They’re what draw us into a life full of His power, provision and identity. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we find ourselves immersed in the depth of God’s love and acceptance, allowing our souls to rest in every moment of our lives. It’s when we find rest in God’s goodness that we are able to be taken from glory to glory and from faith to faith.
Light is most easily noticed when it shines through the darkness; but light shines brightest when nothing is in its way.