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Wait and Watch

We can all be angels to someone in need. It’s just a matter of when and how.

Wait and Watch

“[Moses’] sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.” Exodus 2:4

Now that she was alone, the widow faced a decision: “Should I sell my house and move to a secure retirement community?” For years she had watched the changes in her neighborhood. Many things concerned her: unattended children, unkempt yards, unleashed pets and unwatched houses. But one personal tug kept her from moving. She observed one family and saw the unscrupulous behavior of the adults in the house: Strange cars would pull up, shady characters would come and go at all hours. She’d look out her window and see the young brother and sister who lived there climb into their tree house at odd times. Were they going there for shelter?

The widow wondered how she could leave these children. She had a mission . . . to keep a close eye on these two. The widow waited, watched and prayed for a chance to help. Though the children didn’t know it, a neighbor became a part of their life story by keeping surveillance and interceding from the sidelines.

Before Moses was born, the pharaoh of Egypt issued a cruel edict: To keep the Hebrew people from becoming too powerful, every Hebrew baby boy must be killed. But the Hebrew women waited for the right opportunities to frustrate Pharaoh’s genocidal plan. The midwives, mothers and sisters subverted the edict and saved some of the babies. Moses’ mother put the baby Moses in a basket and placed it in the Nile. Moses’ sister watched from the shore. Pharaoh’s daughter joined in the cause by taking the baby Moses out of the reeds and into her heart. Even as Moses was saved from the fate of so many other children, Miriam “stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.”

Every newborn baby enters the context of a human story, even though some of those stories are less than hopeful. You may see this and realize how unfair the world is. You want to do something to help but feel sidelined. You wait. You watch. You pray. You want to perform some act of practical compassion. The truth is, sometimes the best action is the sideline action: Wait, watch and pray. God will guide you to action when the time is right.

You’re a part of others’ stories. And they’re a part of yours. Who needs your vigilant prayer protection? God may ask you to wait behind the scenes until he shows you how to step in.


1. Whom are you watching over right now?

2. How does prayer empower you as you wait?

3. How does this perspective of waiting and watching help you in your own life’s


Related Readings

Exodus 15:19–21

1 Samuel 12:23

Read more from the New Women’s Devotional Bible!

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