My high-school-self was a little conflicted about the return of Christ. I remember staring up at the sky. The ground lay hard beneath me; the sky, soft and endless above me. I could almost imagine the puffs of white parting as Jesus broke through eternity to come get His Church. At first, this brought a sense of joy. Then, a little panic began to creep in; a dark cloud in my blue sky.
I wanted to see Jesus, but I wanted to do some things first.
Peter Jennings reported the news as I watched the signs of Matthew 24 playing out on our TV screen. I prayed, “wait, Lord!” Not because of those who needed salvation before His return, but because there were things I wanted to do.
I had a 5-year plan that included marriage, babies, and a house. My plan had no room for the second coming of Christ. I didn’t want to miss those milestones. I wanted a photo album of a lifetime of smiles and memories.
When the babies did come, I didn’t want to leave them. I wasn’t as worried about missing out if Jesus returned. After all, my babies would go to Glory with me. I became consumed with fear that I would be taken from them. What would they do without me? The words of my prayer changed, but with the same sentiment: “Please, don’t take me, Lord!”
God graciously showed me that my life had become an idol. Life, as in, my breath and my heartbeat.
I wanted to hold onto my life because I was too necessary. My husband needed me. My kids needed me. The world needed me.
I wanted to be a wife and mama more than I wanted to be in the will and the presence of God. My idolatry kept me from taking risks for the cross, specifically traveling overseas for missions. I had decided to follow Jesus, but I was not a fully committed disciple.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
He reminded me that my children are His. He had a plan for them that may or may not include me. They would be okay either way. If I were to leave this world, there would be grief, but life would go on without me.
I remember tearfully and humbly raising my open hands, giving up my heartbeat, my literal heartbeat. Take it if You want it; it’s Yours to have.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
There was a day when the signs of the end of time would have scared me. I would watch the news with a little prayer in the back of my mind, “not yet, Lord.” Today, my heart rejoices in the promise of heaven, of being in the presence of my Savior. I say with John the Revelator, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
Are you ready for Christ’s return? Are you willing for it to be today?