I’ve been wondering what I would post on the day that nothing struck me. Today was supposed to be the big Rapture, y’know. I figured that would strike me – or not – and either way I’d have some memorable photos. But so far, no go. I stayed outside all day, waiting, just so Christ didn’t come by while I was holed up inside the house and I’d miss it.
Actually, today was our church picnic, where I figured He’d pick us all up at once. Kinda like a bus stop, or buying at Costco; it’s so much easier to just pick up all your righteous in one place rather than having to make 50 separate stops all over town. I stayed close to the elders, too, just so I didn’t get missed. People with big families are very aware of the reality of forgetting a kid someplace. I didn’t want to be the lone lost sheep.
But I won’t ever be lost, if I am truly one of His. Whether I’m in the bathroom, lost in the alleys of Timbuktu, or in the belly of a big fish, He promises to never lose me. We enjoyed a nice afternoon at a lovely park on Georgetown Lake. And that was what struck me today. It wasn’t a particular event, but the whole concept of what the day was supposed to bring and didn’t. What it did bring was a lot of fun discussions. I’ve had a lot of fun with this one – every other prediction of the end scared me, because I didn’t know what I’d do if it were real. This time I found myself fielding questions on the meaning of it all.
But it didn’t scare me at all because I knew the truth. I truly knew it. First of all, God’s son told us, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Matt. 24:36) That would probably include Harold Camping, who purportedly made the prediction that today was the day. Secondly, I will never be forgotten. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40) Everyone – mind you, he will honor my decision if I’ve rejected Him, which is sobering – but I will not be forgotten if I trust that He’s coming for me.
The biggest thing I must get over is my own doubt. Am I good enough? I know I sin; why just yesterday I…. Fill in the blanks – you and I aren’t that different. He can never accept me after all I’ve done. I’ve called myself a Christian for a long time, and I’ve definitely not been perfect. I read just the other day that Christians have done more damage to Christianity than atheists could ever dream of – we are poor representatives of the Name. And yet He loves us! That’s a miracle.
When I showed up drunk to a church evangelism meeting years ago, God saw it. He took His own son, pinned that rap on Him, and threw the book at Him for it. And then Jesus looked me in the eye and said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) Don’t worry about it anymore; it’s done and paid for and you don’t need to bother your pretty head about it anymore. My sin died right then with His body. But then three days later, He rose again to life. He was innocent, so death couldn’t hold him. If I will trust that what He says is true, the spirit of life that raised him up will come into my body and put His life – the perfect life that He intended for Adam and Eve to live – back into me. It is so simple, and yet so darned confounding.
Charles Spurgeon reassured me this morning: “Advance beyond these dreary “ifs;” abide no more in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the Canaan of peace, where the Canaanite still lingers, but where the land ceaseth not to flow with milk and honey.” I still sin – just like Paul said in Romans, I can’t always pull off what I intend, but the Spirit of life that fills me is making changes so I am more like Him every day. Some days, I confess, I don’t want to go that way. But by and large, I’m seeing myself becoming more and more like the Man I follow.
And if I can see that in myself, then I have no doubt whose work it is. I’m His. I won’t be forgotten and I don’t have to worry about what day He comes back. I’ve already got my ticket. And although the predicted 6pm stuff didn’t happen, there are almost 4 hours left of today in my time zone. It’s not over yet.
So it’s okay that this isn’t my dream beach. It’s way too rocky, and there are no waves. There are more beaches for me to walk on ahead. (Cool! Double dangling preposition!!) I’m spending my time with some really great people and they make the way worthwhile.