The story is told of a mother who promised her young daughter a trip to the petting zoo. Knowing the visit to the petting zoo was a few days away, the mother began talking with increased anticipation about the event. However, the mother’s anticipation only frustrated the little girl. She wanted to go NOW. But the mother knew something the little girl did not know. If they went now, the petting zoo would not be set up and the little girl’s heart would be broken. But if they waited just a few more days, the little girl could pet the baby goats, chickens, bunnies, and ponies, to her heart’s delight. Mom wasn’t breaking a promise, like the daughter thought. She knew that there was a time and place for the promise to be fulfilled. They just had to wait for the appointed time.
That’s what we are doing today. Waiting for the appointed time…the day of the Lord. In fact, that’s what believers have been doing since the days after the resurrection: waiting for the return of Jesus. Some wait more patiently than others, while some try to calculate the exact date, time and place of His return. Many of us can recall recent attempts by groups to predict the return of Christ, most notably with the coming of the new millennium. In many ways, we are like the little girl who was promised a trip to the petting zoo and, like her, our ability to understand time is imperfect. 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-2 reads, “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrases the same passage this way, “I don’t think friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would.”
What the little girl needed was to trust the words of her mother. What we need, then, is to trust the words of our Savior, “And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Our job is to be ready and trust that this will be a promise kept.
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1. If Christ returned today, am I prepared to meet him and live with him in eternity?
2. If Christ does not return today, am I living my life in such a way that honors Him?
3. Are you waiting for a last second chance? If so, what keeps you from giving your whole life to Christ? If you don’t know how, ask a Christian friend or pastor to help you make this life changing decision.
1 Thessalonians 4 & 5; 2 Peter 3:8-10
Encouraging Parents…Building Families
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