Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Christmas Eve, Again and Again and Again.....

I haven't written much lately, nor very often, because I have been in a constant state of excitement for the past couple of months. It's hard to concentrate when your mind is swirling with excitement. Do you remember that feeling you got as a kid on Christmas Eve? Do you remember how hard it was to get to sleep knowing that the next day was going to be Christmas? Well, that's about the closest I can come to describing the feelings I have been having, and while it's wonderful to have anticipation, I will be glad when my mind can eventually wrap itself around the things that have been happening in my life and I can calm down to a reasonable level again. I don't sleep a night through any more, and for the first time in my life I have lost my appetite (now that IS weird). But I know life will return to 'normal', whatever that is, soon.

Within the past couple of months, our oldest son, Benjamin, got engaged to a lovely girl so there is lots of talk of wedding plans and all the accompanying details to be worked out. That's excitement enough for one family but there is more: our second son, Matthew, is starting college in a couple of weeks and beginning a brand new chapter of his life. There have been student loan applications to be done, immunizations to be scheduled and bursaries to be applied for. Yes, we have had an exciting couple of months! But there's more! Our baby girl is beginning her last year of high school and making plans for her future. She's been praying for God's direction and is feeling a pull to go to the mission field. (Oh Lord, I am so proud of her, but give me strength to accept Your will for her life.)

In the midst of all this, the Lord decided that after praying for a house for seventeen years, that He would bless us with one and we are grateful to say the least. Our closing date is Aug. 12th and I think that just maybe I will be able to unwind after that and take everything else in stride. We have had meetings with the bank, meetings with a contractor, lawyer and realtor. Lots of excitement combined with plans to go to Africa in March as a chaperone for a school trip as well as all of the activities associated with pastoring a vibrant, active church. It's an exciting chapter in our lives to say the least.

Maybe your life seems calm compared to mine right now or maybe you are having your 'Christmas Eve' feeling too. Either way, all of this excitement has reminded me of how we are all to be excited or anticipating the soon return of Christ. The Word says that we are to be looking for His returning. That means to be expecting it to happen just like we know that following the excitement of Christmas Eve, we will wake up in the morning and it will be Christmas. We know it's going to happen and we should be waiting for it and excitedly looking for it.

So many Christians have lost their excitement; they've lost their sense of expectation. Many feel that they have  heard for years that Christ is coming back and He hasn't yet so maybe He won't. They've given up hope. But just as sure as you know that Christmas follows the excitement of Christmas Eve, we know that Christ will be coming back. We know this because the Bible tells us so and we have to believe every word of it if we believe any of it, which we do. A child that wearies with the excitement of waiting for Christmas to come doesn't change the fact that Christmas is still coming. A Christian that gives up hope of seeing Christ doesn't change the fact that He is coming too.

We should live our lives with an excitement of knowing that time is short and Christ is returning for those who have not given up hope; for those who are waiting for Him to appear. Have you lost your excitement? Let me encourage you to read these portions of Scripture again and ask the Lord to quicken your spirit with an excitement to see Him! There are lots of events that will happen in our life that will cause excitement and anticipation whether it be an engagement or a new house or a new career, but none of them compare with the excitement that every Christian should have of one day seeing their King.

"This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).

 "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3).

 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven. . ." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16).

 "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). 

"But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as his is" (1 John 3:2). 

Finally, let me leave you with the words of Jesus Himself: "Look, I am coming soon!" Revelation 22:12.
There is no doubt about it, our Lord is coming back. Are we anxiously awaiting his return? Are you excited?

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