“In just a little while, he who is coming will come and not delay.”
Ready or not, here I come.
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I hate not being ready. Last minute preparations and scrambling to get ends tied up send my nerves on edge, not to mention plain old forgetting that one important thing. When that happens, I can’t seem to focus on anything but that one thing I forgot. Nothing makes me feel more incomplete than driving down the road or arriving to my destination only to realize that I forgot earrings or my wedding ring. A naked ring finger and unadorned earlobes become center spotlight on my mind’s stage.
Like a thief in the night, he comes. The Bible is peppered with allusions to be ready for when God comes. Warnings to get right with God are common; so is the more modern question Do you know where you’ll spend eternity? Christians everywhere are given the task of spreading God’s word, remembering Jesus’ sacrifice, and sharing that there is a place for each and everyone in heaven. Quick – make your reservation, even though not one of us knows when we are leaving.
I remember as a new Christian I wondered if I was ready. Did I do enough in accepting that Jesus saved me? Was there still a corner of my mind that doubted what I said I believed? I prayed the salvation prayer over and over, as if I forgot something the last time: Dear God, I am a sinner, and I believe that you sent Jesus to die for my sins. Amen? Is that it? It seems so inadequate. God, I really really believe that you sent Jesus to die for me. Oh man, my sins. Please forgive me for when I did this, and this, and this, and oh, I guess I am sinning now by not believing in the simplicity of your plan, oh God, am I messing this up or what? I’m sorry. Forgive me. Please have a room for me in your house. I know you have one for me. Amen.
Even in prayer I’m a neurotic mess.
The truth is that God will not wait to come. When his time is here to reveal himself to the world, even the most powerful will be humbled, but we can be sure that this is also how he works in all of our lives on a daily basis. God will not wait to teach us something when he deems it’s time. I was not ready to be called by God to believe; I didn’t make a plan, didn’t foresee the future of life as a Christian. Nor do I have fair warning to do many of the things I look back upon and say “God put me in that situation.” If God wants to show us something, he won’t hesitate to show us his hand, ready or not.
God is always on the lookout for what we need, and his will supersedes any of our plans (or lack of them). I believe God gives us chances to do his will in our lives, and we don’t always notice them. There is a time when he needs us for something that can’t be ignored, and we make choices to do them or not. Even the one who thinks he has lived his life for God can do one more thing for the Kingdom. God never fails, and this includes never failing to use us for this glory, no matter when or where we are in our lives.
God doesn’t wait for loose ends to be tied up; he doesn’t care if we forgot to wear earrings that day. He will come when we least expect it, without warning. Every day we have the choice to do something with what God gives us, until that very last day when he calls us home.