The bright lights of Cambridge had finally dimmed. The tottering footsteps of the last homebound partygoer echoed down the angular alleyway of Portugal Place. I sat in the basement of Number 25, peering up through the little window, imagining night watchmen angels striding past, their wings swinging softly behind them in the velvet-black predawn silence. It was about three in the morning, and my heart was full of longings more pressing than sleep the night I wrote this song.
More than watchmen for the morning
Oh, my soul is desperate for You
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits
and in his word I put my trust
The kingdom of God does not operate on one time scale; it is ‘now and not yet’ – we are justified now, we have every spiritual blessing now, and yet there is so much we long for. We wait for Jesus, our Bridegroom, we wait for the Father to reward openly what is done in secret (Matthew 6), we wait for things to be seen as they truly are (Luke 8:17). Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1), but this constant waiting and trusting can be a sweet heartache, almost like a long-distance marriage.
There isn’t space to tell you my whole story, but I can testify to this: the fulfillment is all the sweeter for the waiting, and the fulfillment will come!
Maybe there are longings you have been treasuring in your heart for years. Let not deferred hope make you heartsick in the wrestlings of the now – God knows what you think you want, and He also knows what you would really want if you could see all the options! Dare to hope even more audaciously in the realm of the not yet, for his promises are unbreakable, like a diamond on your finger. The Bridegroom will surely come for you, His beloved. And in that moment, in the twinkling of an eye, he will redeem the sufferings of the long, dark night and make everything new, hallelujah!
O… [my friend!], hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.