in the deep watches of the night

My eyes popped open. I woke from a deep dream-filled sleep. 1:30 am. My mind racing. Prayer. Deep awareness of God’s presence. The deep watches of the night do not escape his notice. So I prayed for my family, each person by name. I also prayed for specific friends who came to mind. And my pastors and their wives. Both couples, the one who pastored me for so many years, and the one who is just beginning their journey in Portland.

There was never a moment of stress, nor fretting about sleep lost. I had retired for the evening at 8:30 pm, as is my daily custom. Eventually I drifted off, somewhere between 3:30 am and 4 am.

5 am. Time to wake for work. Full strength; no lagging as expected. Just thankfulness for God’s hand in waking me to converse with him in the deep watches of the night.

And even now at a Starbucks in NW Portland with a menagerie of humanity surrounding me I feel a profound sense of God’s presence.

He’s reminding me that watchfulness and prayer in solitude sensitizes me to his presence throughout the day.

How could I have forgotten a lesson learned so many times previously? How did I become so callous and numb? Yet he hushes me and bids me to abide in him (John 15). And to watch and pray (Mark 14:37).

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