And, what I say, I say unto you all, Watch. (Mark 13:37)
Here is an illustration by Donald Grey Barnhouse that aptly describes the difference between waiting (which we must and have to do) and watching for our Lord's return. Are we only waiting or are we waiting and watching?
In a city near Edinburgh, a large fishing fleet goes forth each year on a long expedition to the Newfoundland banks. When the fleet returns, the whole town is notified, and as the boats come over the horizon, everyone is at the dock waiting for loved ones who have been away for two, or three long months. On one such return, as the fleet approached the shore, the captain stood on the deck of one of the ships with his field glasses, reporting to the sailors. Naturally, they were all wondering about their loved ones. The captain said, "Jock, I see your Mamie and the two bairns there; Bill, there is your Freda; John, I see...". As he told each man of his family and wife, each was relieved to know that all was well - there had been no sickness no death. One man came to the captain and asked, "Do you see my wife there?" The captain turned and said, "I'm sorry Angus, I don't see her; she's not there." Angus began to worry because his wife was not in the crowd on the wharf. When the ship docked, the men greeted their loved ones, but Angus moved through the crowd looking everywhere for his wife; he could not find her. He passed quickly through the village to his house on a hill. With hurried step he opened the door - there was his wife. She said, "Oh, Angus, I've been waiting for you." He replied, "The wives of the other men were watching for them."
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should not be only waiting but also watching for the Lord to come.