"He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20)
Alan went hunting this past weekend in Georgia. He was gone 4 nights. Yesterday was his homecoming. The day was spent as a typical Tuesday usually is, but the children and I added some activities of preparation to our schedule. We were preparing for Daddy to come home and we wanted everything to look nice. Our home should be a peaceful place that Alan wants to reside in, a place he looks forward to coming each day. Even more so when he has been gone for a while.
We worked furiously for the couple hours we had after our schoolwork was completed. The laundry was finished, folded, and put away. Rooms were cleaned and picked up, the furniture dusted, and the beds made. The trash was taken out, plants watered, and animals fed. We lit a pumpkin candle so the house would smell good. Jayde made brownies because we know how much Alan loves sweets. As we lovingly carried out our tasks, we were full of anticipation and regularly exclaimed to each other, "Daddy's coming home!"
When I walked into my laundry room at one point during the morning, the Lord put a thought in my head which humbled me and caused me to meditate on it the rest of the day. I'm still thinking about it! He said, "I have told you I am returning again. What are you doing to prepare for me?" It hit me. What AM I doing to prepare for the Lord's return? If I go to such trouble to prepare a place for my children's earthly father, shouldn't I go to much more trouble to prepare a place for my Heavenly Father? I can have a clean house, good looking children, and a stocked pantry full of treats. But do those things mean anything at all if my heart isn't prepared for the Lord? Absolutely not.
In John 14:2 Jesus says, "In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." He's preparing for me. What am I doing for Him?
"But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the door-keeper to stay awake. Therfore stay awake - for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake." (Mark 13:32-37) Staying alert and ready for my Saviour is hard when I live in a country where I am bombarded with "stuff".
I should be sweeping out the cobwebs of my heart. Taking out the trash of sin and worldliness. Dusting up the bits of complacency with my life here on earth. I am His Bride, the Church. I say I am longing for His return, but if that is really true, what should my life look like? It should look like the life of a servant, modeled after Jesus, the ultimate servant. I should be loving others, especially the least of these. I should be teaching and training my children to listen to the Holy Spirit. I should be obedient to the Will of my Father as I wait to join Him in Heaven just like my children were obedient to my will while their father was away. I fail daily. Over and over, I forget to dwell on the promise of Jesus' return.
When I get to Heaven, I will see all my failures. My sins will be erased, yes, but I will truly know how lowly I am. How much I needed Jesus. Sometimes I know I don't comprehend the enormity of Jesus' love for me. I can't. My life is too good. I live a life too comfortable right now to fully rely on God for every breath, every morsel of food. That's my fault. It's hard to leave your comfortable life and really get dirty. This morning I prayed that I will know the ways God wants to use me for His glory. I want the times to be minimized that He can show me I failed Him. He will be able to play my life in rewind, saying, "See, this was my will for you. You didn't make the right choice. You took the easy way out instead of glorifying me." But I want the movie of that part of my life to be as short as possible.
Dear Daddy in Heaven, You are an awesome God. Thank you for reminding me that I need to prepare for you, just as you are preparing for me. Help me be ready to carry out your will and help me see what needs to be done. May your glory shine through me. Help me to "not grow weary in doing good" (2 Thess. 3:13). Let it be good that is done in your name, not my own. In your Son's precious name, Jesus, Amen.