James 5:7 (NIV)
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
My wife and I were out enjoying a visit with our chickens the other day and I mentioned I was ready to start getting the garden ready. We have had a garden the last couple of years. We know we have to wait for the warm temperatures of spring to make their arrival, before we plunge our hands into the dirt. 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, peppers, 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.
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, we might be tempted with the same, but we 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?
Dear Lord, help us be patient and serve you daily with eagerness and readiness for Your return. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.