I remember the moment like it was last week, except it was an ordinary day in 1976. Standing in the narrow hallway of our rental house, between my bedroom and our bathroom, I was bending over a pile of wrinkled clothes in the ironing basket, searching for a lost shirt. As I sorted through forgotten items I was now outgrowing, details about the second coming of Christ circled through my thoughts.
Twelve years old and I’m silently assessing the cost of choosing salvation.
Pewter bicentennial plates line the top shelf of the hutch in the kitchen, behind an eclectic collection of cobalt glass and porcelain. We lived in that house for a brief period, two years I would like to forget. But sometimes the worst years are reminders of God’s faithfulness in hindsight.
Calculating time, I landed on the year 2000 for the obvious return of Jesus. A futuristic time period felt unrealistic like the Jetsons coming to life. A safe distance from my circumstance, I consoled myself by thinking I didn’t have to change anything in my life immediately. The thought of writing out the date on a document with the year beginning with a 2 instead of a 1 was somehow unimaginable. I convinced myself I was right.
“I think Jesus will return in 2000, don’t you Mom,” I said to her, hoping for reassurance.
She reminded me that we don’t know exactly when Christ will return, we can’t predict it.
I was trying to determine outcomes before they happened, comforting myself with logic. Unfortunately, I still do that.
I’m not sure what provoked an end times thought process. Perhaps it was watching one of those cheesy movies that scare young people into surrendering to Jesus or maybe the insecure circumstances we lived in daily pushed hope into the future.
As an adolescent, I wasn’t aware of the irrelevance of my question. But this morning, as I wake up to the simulated waves from the alarm clock, this forgotten memory returns to the forefront with a message.
God is always at work shaping an eternal perspective within us. He’s waiting for us to choose Him.
Your thoughts and memories aren’t random, did you know that?
Jesus said, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” (Acts 1:7, MSG)
Sometimes while focused on time and attempting to determine outcomes for the future, we forget why he sent the Holy Spirit.
He doesn’t plant eternity in our hearts so we can put it under glass and admire the beauty. The Kingdom flourishes when the seeds he plants in your soul germinate; when we share Him like oxygen with those who are suffocating.
If we want to experience spiritual springtime, we must awaken from winter’s sleep. Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria can be your kitchen, the neighbor’s yard or the grocery store check-out. The ends of the world? Your small town life with a laundry basket full of procrastination.
He remembered that they were but flesh, wind that passes and comes not again. (Psalm 78:39)
Oh to live like we are living and not like we are dying. You know this speaks to my life and the perspective I must find in these days in time. Thank you my friend…your words are always a gift to me.
I thought it was funny that I woke up with that on my mind. I had completely forgotten about it. But I was praying about what I should write this week before I went to bed so I guess I was working it out in my sleep.
such wisdom here, Shelly. I love your heart! Love YOU!
Love you Kris, you are such a sturdy, reliable friend who loves well.
This has not been an easy winter for me, Shelly. I “must awaken from winter’s sleep”, literally, and press on into Springtime. I am praying He will revive me again to the work at hand, not worrying about tomorrow, but living for today. Really living. But I do believe He is coming quickly, so I keep one eye on the skies.
I’m praying for you Jillie. Wintering of the soul is so heavy. I’m feeling a bit that for some reason myself. Let’s pray for springtime together, shall we? Love you much.
Shelly, I so appreciate the reminder that eternity flourishes when we live in it today. We don’t have to wait for it to arrive, we are living in it once we are saved. That leads us to the abundant life Jesus promised. Great encouragement here, friend!
As a Christian I can get so boxed into my own little world and forget why I’m here sometimes. Reading through Acts has been a lesson in perspective for me, I’m grateful. Thanks for being here Holly.
Sigh… I’m off to do some laundry from the basket of procrastination…
I’m just trying to focus these days, which is proving to be a feat.
“when we share Him like oxygen to those who are suffocating”. I love that analogy. I am inspired by your post. Thanks!
Grateful you were inspired here Anne, thank you.
Oh…living the calculated life…it is suffocating indeed … And I am so thankful He never stops wooing us…breathing Spirit I filled oxygen into your lives…one day we will be a blazing glory!!!
I’m looking forward to that day Ro.
1976—the year jumped out at me. 🙂 It was the year God had ordained that I would begin my days here. We cannot know our futures: “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Thank you for your reminder to keep our eternal perspectives. God is sovereign and in Him I am secure. May we share this living hope within us.
Can’t believe that year caught your attention Rebekah, we never know how what we write will resonate with someone. Thought that was pretty awesome.
My whole heart sings yes!
Aw, thanks Jennifer. Looking forward to connecting tomorrow.