My first child arrived in the world a week overdue. I’m hoping this next one isn’t as much of a procrastinator. What I most depend on is the knowledge that he can’t stay in there forever. He’s got to come out eventually.
For thousands of years, Christians have been singing songs and preaching sermons and writing articles about the soon coming of Christ. Do you think they could have imagined that in 2015 we would still be waiting? I wonder sometimes about my grandparents, who for years have included in their prayers the words, “And may we be ready for Your soon arrival.” How do they keep from becoming discouraged?
In Matthew 16 as Jesus was talking with His disciples, He said, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom” (verse 28, NIV). I’m pretty sure if I had been one of those disciples, I would have assumed Jesus would return within the next 40-50 years.
But He did not.
When is It Going to Happen?
Each generation that has lived since then has probably been convinced that the second coming would happen on their watch. But it hasn’t. And here we are. Christians living in the 21st century, still singing and preaching and writing about His soon coming. When is soon ever going to happen? Wonderfully, just as I know this baby must come some day, we also know Jesus must return one day. We know this for one simple reason—He promised.
Jesus told us to be ready at any moment. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42, NIV). Whether He comes during our lifetime or not, He wants us to live each day as if it could be today. I believe that choosing to do that means we will live a life filled with hope and anticipation, with a goal and purpose, and with the knowledge that Someone loves us enough to return on a white horse to take us to our permanent, eternal home.
So, I’ll pack my bag for the hospital and I’ll do my hip opening exercises and I’ll enjoy the process of this pregnancy. I’ll enjoy the movement of this life inside of me. I’ll try to laugh as I see my profile in the window of the supermarket. I’ll relish the moments of arguments over names. I’ll faithfully read books so I can be as prepared as possible for labor and delivery. And I’ll talk to him and rub and pat him while he is still safely in my womb. Because we all know that when that day finally arrives, the life I have known before will be forever changed.
“It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed” (1 Corinthians 15:52, NLT).