More Than Watchmen

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.

Psalm 130:7


We Can Walk On Water

This song is one that has brought me much joy. The original home recording, which I first heard on a mixed CD of unidentified artists, contains as much laughter and conversation as actual music. The guitar-strumming singer, affable and lighthearted, begins the song with the injunction, “…and have some fun with it!”

Can you hold me, ‘cuz I’m still shaking
We can walk on water!

Peter walking on the water towards Jesus (Matthew 14:22-34) speaks powerfully to me of what the Christian life feels like. Peter the sea-bronzed fisherman is full of bravado: “tell me to come to you on the water”! Peter the wholehearted worshipper is, as always, vying for the spot closest to the One he loves. Peter the mere human, however, falters: “…when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'” Many theologians of more wisdom and insight than me have gone into the implications of Peter’s apparent lack of faith. All I want to say today is that Jesus caught him.

As you step out on the water in bumbling but genuine love for the Saviour, know this: even if you fail, Jesus will catch you. It matters more that you love Him than that you do this perfectly. This is for those of you who overthink the walk of faith, as I often do: “…have some fun with it!” There is space out on these open seas – we can walk on water!