Gardening has been one of my favorite pastimes for a number of years. As the warm temperatures of spring make their arrival, I’m always eager to plunge my hands into the dirt. My anxiousness often has its drawbacks. Many replanting notches dot my belt, but the end of cold weather guarantees success. Plants grow and seeds sprout. Waiting, however, is the part of gardening I don’t enjoy. Corn kernels may germinate and raise their heads in March, but it’s June before I gnaw on a succulent ear of corn. And tomatoes, squash, beans, and cucumbers take about the same length of time to produce.
Psychologists refer to such a waiting process as delayed gratification. Initial effort is made, but the reward for the effort hangs in the future. The same applies to Christ’s return. “Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the…valuable harvest to ripen.” (James 5:7 NLT)
When Christ didn’t return quickly enough, first century believers were tempted to give up their faith altogether or either return to the religion of the Jews and term him a fraud. Two thousand years later, I might be tempted with the same, but I must delay gratification just as they did. God’s timetable is different. With him, one day is as a thousand years. He can distinguish the voices of a million people praying simultaneously. What appears as an extremely long period to me may only be a second in his time.
Christ’s coming will occur just as my garden produced at a certain time. Only the Father knows the day, but when the time is right, he will instruct his Son to get his children and bring the current world order to an end.
How or when end time events will unfold isn’t the most important aspect. More crucial is our readiness to meet him. By accepting his forgiveness, living obediently to his commands, and aiding in the expansion of his Kingdom, we can be ready. Are you prepared?
Prayer: Empower us, Lord Jesus, to live daily with eagerness and readiness for Your return.