I feel it.
I know others feel it. I am not sure about you, but there is a sense of expectancy in the air. It is like waiting for something to happen. Is it something good or something not?
I was talking to someone about it today and we came to the conclusion that it is like being pregnant and waiting for a child to be born.
You are so excited in the beginning upon learning that you are having a baby and then as the months go on and the baby grows, the anticipation increases. As does the bodily weariness of having a large weight inside of you and the aches and pains that come with that. I think many of us are suffering from the weariness of waiting. Like a large weight hanging around us, making life seem a little harder and trickier. We thought maybe Jesus would have come back by now or is coming back immediately to rectify some things.
Many of us went to classes to learn what to expect when delivering a baby. They teach you the physical basics and techniques for breathing and pushing. And on the spiritual side we have done this, we have had teachings, and done our Bible reading on the signs of the times and what the Bible predicts, we are ready.
And then you wait….. and wait… and wait some more, and around 9 months in many of us have Braxton Hicks contractions. Now these are contractions but not “the” contractions, they will send you to the hospital to be checked out, anticipating the arrival of a baby, but these contractions will not the be ones to deliver your baby, they are also called “false labour”.
As events happen around the world, the war in Ukraine, the tension in the Middle East, the government upheavals, earthquakes, fires, pandemics… we all wonder, is this “it”? “It” being the end of this age, or the start of a world war, is Jesus coming back, the questions fly and of course no one has an answer. There are so many speculations and thoughts but no one really knows. Each event is horrific and huge but it is not “the big one”. Just like false labour, that can send you into panic and anticipation, these events can do the same to us.
It looks like we wait some more….
The thing of it is, we have been in this state for years, many, many long years. Hundreds of years, thousands of years, it has been over 2,000 years since Jesus said He was coming back.
When the baby decides to come, the contractions start and you are asked, how far apart are they? In a normal pregnancy they often start about 20 minutes apart, then down to 15 and down to 10 minutes apart. Then they jump to say 5, then 3 and they increase in strength and quickness until baby comes.
By the time you are down to 5 minutes you had best be at a hospital for baby is coming relatively soon, in most cases.
When we see the signs of the end times that the Bible predicts we had best be in position to be ready. How can we know what some of those signs are?
There is a list in a few places in the Bible and in one passage God even refers to these events as “birth pangs”:
Wars, rumors of wars, nation against nation, famines, earthquakes, persecution, hated because we believe in God and Jesus. Matthew 24:6-13
We look around at our world and think – this has to be it!
But you know if we looked around our world in 1914-1918 we would have said the same thing. Over 9 million people died in World War 1 – a horrendously brutal war (not that there is any other kind).
If you went backwards every 100 years or so, there would be world events similar to the description in the Bible and people in each era were asking the same question.
I worked at the health unit when I had my first baby. The health unit was where you came to get the classes on childbirth. I heard lots of stories and the teachings and I “knew” what to do according to the “plan”.
Turns out that a lot of babies do not know about the “plan”, you know the starting at 20 minutes then 15 then 10 and so on. That almost got me into trouble. I waited for the contractions to be according to the plan. Mine had their own plan. I was one of those that went from 10 minutes to 3 minutes to 6 minutes to 2 minutes and so on. I was sure that I was not in labour because it was not regular contractions, but those were my regular contractions.
By the time I got to the hospital I was more than well on my way to deliver my baby and they actually had to kick out some poor lady out of the delivery room because I was going to be first.
I thought the organized plan, the one I learned, was the way it was going to go but as life has it, life is messy and not a cookie cutter pattern for any of us.
We think the list, the plan outlined in the Bible is the way it will go, a set pattern, before Jesus comes back again.
Has God ever showed up just like we think? Not ever.
Imagine the shock when it started raining and the flood came wiping out millions and only Noah was ready with a boat.
Abraham and Sarah were not ready when God said they would have a baby at aged 100 and 90 respectively. Who would be?
The Israelites were not ready when Moses came to save them from slavery in Egypt and the 10 plagues happened. Nor were they at all ready when the Red Sea parted so they could walk through. Who could have predicted that?
People were not ready for Jesus, the Saviour of the world to be born as a baby and in a stable, a barn! People were not ready for Jesus to be tortured, and crucified either.
How do we live then as we wait, and wait and wait some more? The Bible answers this question very clearly:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength – Deuteronomy 6:5
Follow Me, said Jesus to His disciples and to each of us – Matthew 4:19
Go and make disciples Matthew 28:19
I think that many of us forget that God Himself said – “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven…” Matthew 24:36
We can be so busy checking off items on the end of the age check list that we become heavenly minded and not a lot of earthly good. We are waiting for Jesus to come back and “fix things” when in fact He has given us the tools and command to do so.
God requires us to be the ones who bring heaven to earth and live it out so the world can see. Then no matter if the end of the age comes tomorrow or next year or in 50 years, we will be bringing a bit of heaven that the world can see, and we can be the change that could change everything for all time.
Now that is a plan worth following.