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Never had he seen it so dark.

The young sentry squinted his eyes into slits. It didn’t help.He couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, much less any enemy lurking. It was as if a dark blanket had covered the whole earth. No moon, no stars. Just thick swirls of black fog.

His ears picked up the muted call of his fellow guard at the tower to the north. “Three o’clock and all is well.”

The sentry repeated the call to the next tower, per protocol.  But it was more of a wish than a declaration. How could he be sure? A whole army could be hiding.  Instead of being here, he longed to be home, in his bed spooned next to his wife and feel her hand stroke his shoulder. He paced the twenty feet that was his guard post as he peered into the thickness that would not reveal what it cloaked.

He yearned for the evenings when the stars twinkled their welcome. At times they seemed so close to him high in his tower, he could almost reach out and grab one. Or the nights the full moon illuminated the hills with soft tree-shadows that reached across the meadows like the beckoning fingers of his grandmother. But tonight, there was no light at all. No way to keep his bearings.

Three more hours until dawn. Would it ever come?Oh, how he wished for this night to be over. He wanted to breathe in the smell of honey and hot porridge waiting for him when he traipsed in at dawn. Feel the steam envelope his nostrils and the warmth slide down into his belly.He crossed his arms and rubbed them to keep out the chill–not so much from the temperature as from the ominous feeling he  could not shake. Evil lay out there like a tiger waiting to pounce. He needed reassurance that he’d survive the next few hours unscathed.

All he could do is wait, and hope. Trust in the God of his fathers to protect him, protect his family inside the walls, protect the whole village. He lifted a simple, plain-spoken prayer to Heaven beyond the stars he could not physically see.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
 I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          more than watchmen wait for the morning.     Psalm 130:5-6

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I hope my story encourages you today. If you are in a dark, uncertain place right now, take hope. Your Lord will watch over you, protect you and guide you through it. All you have to do is ask, then wait in hope. He can see what you cannot.

Let His love envelope you like a cloak. There is nothing that He will not hold you through, so cling to that belief and feel His peace.

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