“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Luke 12:40
Sweet little legs peeking out beneath a pink plaid summer dress dashed across the grass. First up on the swing, then bouncing on the trampoline, back to the swing set to try the glider, skipping up the slope to her Fischer Price outdoor kitchen.
And her laughter, pure and clear, ripples across the late afternoon breeze, washed clean by an earlier shower from black clouds and northwest wind.
What a blessing to watch an infant learn baby skills, progress to toddlerhood, pre-school, and elementary stages. Growth is expected. We watch for it. We nurture it. Sometimes we even try to push it a bit.
Jesus reminds us that we are to look for the signs of his return, and to remain watchful. Not just now and then, but always expectant.
The story of the maidens with lamps, five with extra oil and five without, is told in Matthew 25. This parable explains what prepared means. While the five with extra oil realized it might take longer than they thought, the other five expected it to be in the early watch of the night.
The tension of living always watching, always prepared overwhelms linear thinking.
Remember the child. The parents are mindful of the child’s needs, even without every waking moment occupied directly with the child. Initially, the infant needs close watch and care. But as the child grows, the support of care-giving changes to intermittent attention. At times, one just basks in the discoveries through the child’s eyes. And when they grow older, leaving for their own call to mission, we long for their visits with us.
This is how we are always ready for his coming, always praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and yet doing the work He has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). We need to spend time understanding the signs of Christ’s return and recognize it could be soon. At times, we need to bask in the thought that our Savior might return today for us, His bride. And underneath it all, He wants us to long for His coming.
Are you ready at any moment for His return?
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20