Our Fourth Watch God ~ Dear Miss Mormon

Monday, December 22, 2014

Our Fourth Watch God

Dear Miss Mormon,
I feel like I am a good person, but I struggle to know whether or not God thinks so too.  How do I know when God forgives me?

Dear friend,
So I think I've already proven that I don't have all the answers. Just like you I'm learning and finding my answers to life in textbooks and on the back of cereal boxes (I kid, I kid).
But I have found someone who has already learned every mystery of life--possibly even the universe. His name is S. Michael Wilcox and I have such a spiritual crush on him. He's going to help me answer your question today through the words of his lecture/podcast"When My prayers Seem Unanswered" (is that cheating?)
**if you don't finish reading this, at least listen to the podcast, its a bit long but worth it! (55 min)

i just discovered this podcast this week and have since listened to it repeatedly:

-in my car
-getting ready in the morning
-walking around my house...pretty much anywhere and everywhere

S. Michael Wilcox (let's just call him Mike, he's talked at me for days now through my speaker, so I think we're on a nickname basis now) teaches us about God's timing and answering our prayers by describing an event in the New Testament where it becomes clear that we worship a fourth watch God. 

I'll explain:
The Hebrew night is roughly divided into four segments—or watches. In the book of Mark, the apostle gives an account in which Christ sends His apostles off in a ship, intending to follow them later. They sail all night contending with a storm—in fact, Mark says “the wind was contrary to them and they toiled in rowing against the wind.” They did this all night until finally, in the fourth watch, He comes. Now normally, as a general rule, we tend to be first watch children. We’re impatient, we get nervous, and sometimes we start to doubt if God doesn’t come in the first or second watch.

But Heavenly Father is a fourth watch God.

For whatever reason in His infinite wisdom, He seems to wait until the point of greatest darkness, just before day break, to come, but without fail He always comes.

Now Mike also points out that there is a time when God is a first watch kinda guy and that is when it comes to forgiveness. When I heard that the first time I quickly thought back on my repentance record and saw the same pattern in my life--God has always forgiven me in the first watch. The hard part in it all is allowing ourselves to be forgiven. We tend to be much harder on ourselves than I believe our Heavenly Father is on us. The prophet Isaiah said it best when speaking messianically he said "I will not forget thee". There is nothing you or I can do to lose God's love or to cause him to not accept our humble plea for mercy.

As soon as we want to change, as soon as we turn toward Him and say "I want to do this right", its in that very first watch that He comes to us. 

Wherever you are in your voyage, however long you have been contending with the winds and toiling in rowing, know that God is aware of you and loves you and is coming. He will not let you sink, He will not let you be dashed upon the rocks shipwrecked and abandoned, you are His, you are numbered, and though He is a fourth watch God, 

He is also your Father.

With much love,
Miss Mormon


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