Then he who saw cried out: “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights.”

Isaiah 21: 8

 

Some nights are very long; yet, some of our days are even longer. We wait, and we hold vigil. We know that God will act, and we trust that His actions will bring about good results. However, time passes, the clocks all tick and whir as their hands and numbers move along, and nothing changes or no relief comes or the condition remains grave and worsens. We are asked to remain at our post. We know of nothing more to do than to pray for the dawn during the night and, as the darkness lingers, we implore the night for some form of rest.

 

During these long nights and withering days God’s voice seems to be remarkably quiet. We believe that we are listening, but there is no sound. We know the outcome that we seek, and we trust that God will bring it. We hold on to hope while listening to the thoughts and ideas of the people around us. This is a time of self-generated confusion where our own voice of reason can begin to override faith so that doubt regarding God’s goodness or relating to our worthiness in His eyes take hold of the way that we view the situation at hand. Like Isaiah in his time of fearful waiting and watching, the endurance of our faith is tried, tested, and pushed to the limits of breaking.

 

Yet in Christ, there is great strength. In Christ we are granted hope that is certain and unstoppable. As Paul says in Romans 5, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” God assures us that the long nights and days of prayer and waiting on the arrival of His answer will never be in vain. The outcome may be different than that which we requested, but God’s purpose will be fulfilled. Hope becomes evident and real as the Spirit of Christ works in us to reveal the eternal presence of His love and the reality of God’s grace and mercy.