When I was a tiny child, my mother found me perched in a library window looking out intently at the distant road. “What are you doing there, child?” she asked.
“Watching for Papa,” I said. “It is almost time for him to come, and I want to see him.”
“But you are not ready,” rejoined my sensible mother. “Look at your dirty hands and that soiled apron. Papa wants to see his little girl clean, and he likes your hair shining. Go and get yourself ready for Papa, and then take your papers and dolls’ clothes off his table. I’m all ready for him, and so must you be.”
It seems to me now that her advice is still good for older children in spiritual matters, and that her words show us exactly how we are to “watch” for our Lord. We are first to be ready ourselves, and then to make His earth ready as far as lies within our power. We have no business looking up to the clouds of heaven while our hearts will not bear the inspection of Him for whom we are looking. We have no leisure to study dates and times when the law of God for our daily lives is fulfilled in our hearts.
“Therefore, be you also ready,” (Matthew 24:44 KJV) said Jesus. “Watching” can have no practical meaning but getting ready, if we are not so, and keeping ready, if we are.
It is explained in other parts of the holy Word how we are to be watching.
“Watch unto prayer,” admonishes Peter, “for the end of all things is at hand”
(1 Pet. 4:7 KJV). Shall the end find us in fellowship with God?
“Watch thou in all things,” (2 Timothy 4:5 KJV) Paul exhorted Timothy, just going into the work, and with great prospects before him. The young man was to watch Jesus continually, to test whether or not his life matched his Lord’s.
Jesus himself said, “Watch therefore; for you know not what hour your Lord does come” (Matthew 24:42 KJV).
The eyes that so look for Jesus in all matters of the daily life will see Him. They will not have to wait for His appearance in the clouds of glory, but they will behold Him in the clouds of heaviness which may shadow their everyday life; they will find His healing balm on every thorn which would pierce them, His tears mingling with every drop of sorrow their eyes pour down, His form bending under every cross appointed them, taking its weight and pain and transforming it into a thing of joy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they [as they watch] shall see God” (Matthew 5:8 KJV).
Elizabeth Swift Brengle, Half Hours with My Guide