“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (James 5:7-9 NLT)
Why is waiting so hard? Does it depend on that for which you wait? If I’m having a kidney stone attack and I’m on my way to the ER, the ride and wait seem endless. Or, if I’m waiting to be reunited with my beautiful bride when I’m away. Different “pain,” but similar anticipation.
There are those who seem to think that because Jesus hasn’t come in two thousand years, maybe He’s not coming at all. Does it seem strange to you that we, in the 21st century are using the same words James and others used in the 1st century? It depends on how you understand it.
On some levels Jesus’ “coming” has already occurred in the person of His Holy Spirit. Notice James uses the word “near – for the coming of the Lord is near.” But, yes, of course, He is coming again to gather those who have pledged their allegiance to Him by faith. He said in John 14:3: “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.”
“All Things New” “Used by permission, © Ray Majoran, GlimpseOfInfinity.com”
Our longing for His coming, while it seems to intensify the more deeply we love Him, the closer we sense and learn to depend upon His ever-presence. Yet, we’re also comforted in His “absence” by His Holy Spirit. It’s exciting to think about what it will be like to actually see Him, touch Him, and share all eternity with Him. But at this point, since we’ve not experienced His presence in that way, we really can’t comprehend what we’re missing.
It’s a little bit like waiting to get your driver’s license. It’s fun to ride in the car; to take trips; to be able to go places with your friends, but it’s quite a different dynamic when you’re the one behind the wheel. We can think about it, but it’s not the same as being the driver.
Similarly, based on the day to day things we do with the Lord, we sense His presence and long for His still, small voice to speak to us, but the older we get and the closer we get to leaving this earth, the more our longing to be with Him grows, as well it should. But rather than fret because He hasn’t come yet, we should rejoice, because every second He delays is a second we can encourage someone who doesn’t know Him to open their heart to Him.
Perhaps we miss the reality of His coming everyday for those who pass from this life to the next. It’s not simply a matter of Jesus’ second coming for us as believers, it’s a matter of His coming every second for those who may not be prepared to meet Him. Worldwide roughly 4 people every second go into eternity, the majority having never come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
Yes, I can’t wait for Him to come in all His glory, but in the meantime, I want to be about my Father’s business of leading as many as I possibly can to a saving knowledge of my soon coming King! How about you?
Blessings, Ed 😊