This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “sunrise.”
“I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.”
(Psalm 130:6 NLT)
This verse conveys such a powerful image of waiting and longing, one that I find myself relating to more and more right now.
As we enter the second month of another lockdown with no set end date in sight I’m filled with that longing – longing to see family and friends, longing to work with young people face-to-face instead of on a screen, longing to gather as church, longing to hug… longing for something that resembles normal life.
When you’re waiting for the sunrise, the night can seem endless.
And yet the lockdown continually pulls me back to another, more personal, time of waiting and longing – a time that felt dark and often hopeless as I prayed that God would bring light.
And I am reminded of the verse he led me to at that time:
“What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!” (Matthew 10:27 NLT)
That dark night was long, but it was a time of listening and drawing close to God. While I just longed for it to end, God had things that he wanted to teach me, but this verse gave me hope that, one day, the sunrise would come. I would never have imagined shouting about it from the housetops, but just this week I have found myself sharing the story of that time more widely and publicly than I would ever have expected.
And it continues to give me hope today – hope that the darkness won’t last forever; the sunrise will come. And encouragement that God is not inactive in the darkness. Often it is when he does some of his deepest, most difficult work.
Who knows what we’ll be saying about this pandemic when we look back in five or ten years time? But I pray we’ll have taken something useful from this time – at the very least gratitude for all the little bits of normal we took for granted and a deeper awareness of the blessings God gives.
Just a note to my regular readers: apologies for disappearing the last couple of weeks. Everything is fine – just a little overwhelmed and needed to focus elsewhere. Hopefully I’ll be back to posting more regularly now.