As this deployment is finally moving to a close, I’ve noticed a shift in my attitude the last few weeks. We have a fairly solid idea of when my husband will be coming home. “He’ll come back eventually” has changed to “He’s coming back!” Now there’s a daily urgency as I look forward to him coming home. My priorities change. My to-do list is structured around it. And every day, all my decisions are colored by it. I only make appointments so-far in advance. Even things as simple as deciding to keep a TV show saved on the DVR because, within a reasonable amount of time, he’ll be home to watch it. (And there might be a burned-out light bulb I’m putting off replacing because I don’t like ladders and I can live without it until he gets back.)
Once I became aware of how these thoughts were affecting my daily life, I thought about how the Bible talks about the return of Jesus, and how we are supposed to look forward to it.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God… ~ 2 Peter 3:10-12
How would my life look different if I thought every day that Jesus was coming back? Not read about His return or thought about the fact that He’ll come back “one day,” but really dwelled on the idea that He is on His way back any time now?
Paul encourages us to be holy and godly as we wait for the day of God (almost rhetorically – “So, what kind of holy, godly lives do you think you should be living?”). He also reminds us that the Earth and the works that are done in it will be dissolved. Now, we have to read it in the context of all the Bible’s teachings about stewardship regarding our lives here on Earth, but he’s reminding us to prioritize our energies and assets on the things that won’t be burned up or dissolved, as Jesus taught us to lay up treasures in Heaven, rather than on Earth.
When I was growing up, my church used to sing the same hymn at the close of each service – “Coming Again!” Even though my 13-year-old self got burned out on it, the words are forever etched in my memory (at least the version my church sang). And now I’m thankful for the repetition, because I find myself revisiting that jovial tune more and more often.
Coming Again! Coming Again!
May be morning, may be noon,
May be evening, but will be soon!
Coming Again! Coming Again!
Oh what a wonderful day it will be!
Jesus is coming –
Praise God He is coming –
Our Savior is coming again!