For a young middle schooler, the expectancy was almost unbearable.
In 1970, my father accepted the responsibilities of pastoring a church in Jackson, Tennessee. We packed and headed 14 hours away from the only state I’d ever lived in. Leaving grandparents and great grandparents—as well as cousins, aunts, and uncles, wasn’t easy for a young boy. But summer finally arrived, and with it the appearance of my paternal grandmother. After a short visit, I’d leave with her to spend an entire summer being spoiled by my favorite grandparents and also earn money helping my grandfather on the ice cream truck. The thought of her impending arrival and my imminent departure stirred excitement in this pre-teen’s otherwise boring life.
For three years, Jesus taught and traveled with a group of 12 men. Now he informed them he would soon leave. Since the first century, Christians have eagerly awaited the fulfillment of Christ’s promise. Twenty centuries have passed, and still he hasn’t appeared. Did he lie? Was he deluded? Did he misunderstand what his Father told him? Is he actually alive?
The biblical proof is sufficient for me to believe Christ is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Although two thousand years have passed without his appearance, I’m reminded that God calculates time differently—one day is as a thousand years. His patience—as well as his desire for all to turn to him in faith, keeps him seated even though I wish he’d arise, return, and revamp this chaotic world. In the meantime, it’s my responsibility to keep doing what he commands while I await his return: love him with all my heart, love others as myself, encourage other believers to grow in their faith, and disseminate his love and offer of forgiveness to others. When I do those things, I’ll be using my time wisely while I await his return.
How are you using your time as you anticipate Christ’s return?
Prayer: Thank You Lord Jesus for Your promise to return for Your children. Guide us to faithfulness in Your Kingdom’s work as we await Your arrival.