Like a Night Watchman Waiting

Columbia Lake dawn ch MG_4629


A song I haven’t heard for a long time was playing in my dreams last night. I’ve learned to pay attention to songs that wake me in the night.

My Soul Waits, by Bill Batstone, is based on Psalm 130.

I call to you from out of the deep, “Oh Lord, most high!”
Aware of my sin and the distance I keep from the light, Oh Lord.

But there is forgiveness with Thee,
and in wonder I fall on my knees.
My soul waits for the Lord in the hope of his promise,
in the hope of his promise deliverance will come.
My soul waits for the Lord through the night ’til the morning,
like a night watchman waiting for the coming of the dawn.

Look to the Lord all you people in need, for he is kind.
He will break the chains of your soul’s slavery for all time.

There is forgiveness with Thee and in wonder I fall on my knees.
My souls waits for the Lord in the hope of his promise…
like a night watchman waiting for the coming of the dawn,
like a night watchman waiting for the coming of the dawn.


My grandfather was a night watchman. For twenty five years he worked while the rest of us slept. I didn’t realize, until he developed dementia and relived in his own house those lonely dark nights of climbing miles and miles of stairs, how much he longed for daylight. He was man of small stature armed only with a huge flashlight. More than once he encountered thieves who came in the night to take what was not theirs. More than once he scared them off with his light and the authority his uniform communicated. A couple of times he called the alarm when his life was in danger. At least once his huge flashlight became a physical weapon of defense.

I didn’t realize until the day he retired and took off his uniform and boots for the last time how much he longed for the dawn. He left a big X on each calendar day leading up to the promise of a pension. Guarding the factory while others slept, and sleeping while others played left him out of sync with the rest of the world. It took a toll, but he was faithful to his employers all those years.

After his retirement Grandpa never missed a sunrise. He rose early to wait for it. He soaked in the light of the day working in his garden as much as possible.

Spiritual watchmen pray during the night watches. Sometimes they are aware of dangers  that others know nothing about as the Lord calls them to intercede. Even in the darkness they learn to walk in the light of God’s love. They are prayer warriors and use their authority as beloved sons and daughters of God to turn back meddlesome threats. They do not fight with the weapons of the world but with divine weapons designed to bring light and  pull down strongholds of deception. Sometimes they sound the alarm and call for backup when greater threats appear. It can be a lonely solitary calling, but they are the first ones to see the dawn coming.

And the dawn is coming.