Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ready or Not?!

If you're at all familiar with the church calendar, it's Advent season.  As I shared with the church I visited this past Sunday in Fort Motte, SC, I love this season: not only do we look back in history to when God fulfilled His promise with Jesus coming to earth, but we also look ahead when God will fulfill His promise of Jesus returning to earth.  It's not the festivities and stories I like so much, but the implications behind them: Jesus paid the price no one else can pay so that relationship can be restored both with God Himself and with others! While God offers us SO much here on earth like forgiveness, physical, emotional, and relational healing and reconciliation (to name a few) because of His first coming; He offers us so much more--an eternity of a world where we are whole and no longer in need of healing--through His second coming!

When asked which mug I wanted for my tea during St. Matthews' Sunday School, would you believe they had the same exact mugs I always chose in Fiji in their cupboard!?!  With my friend and childhood Sunday School teacher, Janet Echols.

So, back to my original sentiment, that I love this season! least in theory.  The reality is that Advent is a season of waiting and preparation for the "not yet."  And when you figure in the added element of the unknown "when," it can get a bit uncomfortable if we don't heed God's instruction to get ready!  

I can very much relate to this tension in my personal life as it depicts exactly where I am: I have already let go of things here--like my job and condo--and am preparing to move to Europe and join the EE team there; but I have no idea when, other than soon!  I'm in a holding pattern and cannot give the precise date to myself, much less those who ask.  But then again, this position is consistent with God's warning when he tells us to be ready for Him to come like a thief in the night (Matt 24)!  He doesn't say how long, just be ready!

So I guess the next question is "How?"  Well, John the Baptist's job was to "prepare the way" for the Lord's first coming; and his message was to change their thinking about God.  In particular, He announced it was the King who was coming to bring the restoration and hope to their unique, personal situations that all mankind throughout all history has been desperate for. I believe the message is the same this time around.  

If that's the case, a good question is What's in the way?"  What in my/your heart and mind needs to go? For I'll be ready to join the team in Europe? I'll be ready to meet the King when He comes?  When I look at things this way, I see any potential delays or "extra" time as a form of grace to prepare so that I will be ready when the time comes!  So, I'm trying to embrace and accept the unknowns and focus on the goal ahead, with the means to reach it being readiness.  

The signs are all around.  We may not know the "when," but we know the what and the where! Ready or not, He's coming!  Let's be ready!

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