To be a Mom is to enter protective mode. From the first time they hand you that little fragile person, you think through every possible scenario to protect them from. Note the massive child safety industry with cabinet locks, baby gates and door handle covers. O bless you, non-removable cabinet lock.
A friend a I laughed over the phone recently about our “plans” should an intruder challenge our home. Golf clubs may have been involved.
I noticed something in the well-known “virtuous woman” text of Proverbs 31 the other day. She “watches” over the affairs of her household.
In the beginning, it’s believed men did spend most of their time hunting and gathering, while the women stayed by the place they had settled. (Yeah, housework started way back then) Just like a Mama Bear, we watch over the littles and make claim to our territory. I have no idea what women did back then without “20 Easy Crockpot Meals” from Pinterest. These are the great mysteries of life.
In the gospel of Mark, chapter 13, Jesus gave the disciples a specific exhortation to direct their lives after he left.
“No ones knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away. He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back-whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch'”
Christ is talking about His own return. Did you notice that everyone is given an assigned task, and one person is chosen to STAY at the door just to keep watch? So – we all have a task at hand. And who will keep watch?
The four different times mentioned in the second paragraph are not random. The Romans used four times of the night to watch for the enemy, and they were called night watches. We see mention of this in the Psalms when David refers to the “watches of the night.” Jesus is connecting to his listeners while also suggesting this type of vigilance in regards to watching for Him.
The prophet Habakkuk proclaimed to Lord in his book, chapter 2, that he would stand at his watch, and station himself on the rampart. The rampart was the tall thick wall built around a castle for protection. Watchtowers were very common, and men took turns covering every shift.
The job of a watchmen was extremely important and very dangerous. Their job was to alert the people if an enemy was seen approaching. But they were also very vulnerable, and the enemy knew to target the watchman. To take on the role of protector is a great responsibility.
The enemies most often attacked at night to hide their approach. Even the shepherds kept watch over their flocks at night, when the larger animals would come after the sheep. Night time was watch time.
It still can be. And for the ardent prayer warrior – some of the most powerful spiritual warfare will take place on the battlefield in the night hours.
Habakkuk takes this role and uses it in regards to watching for the Lord. Watchmen had the greatest advantage being so high. They not only saw the enemy, but they could see a messenger from a great distance.
Watch is my word for 2015, and for good reason. Other than the word LISTEN, it’s been about all the Spirit has been nudging me with.
To intentionally watch for Him is an act of faith. We are looking, expectant, believing. For that answered prayer….but mostly for Him. We wait for the day He will return to make all things right. We wait for Him to show up in our schools and court houses and places of worship. To activate our faith, we say expectantly,
“My soul waits for you, Lord…..more than watchmen wait for the morning…” Psalm 130:6
We take up our responsibility and privilege of keeping watch in prayer for His kingdom to come. To pray when we doubt and when we tire and when all around looks hopeless. We still pray, because it is our task…….and He is coming.