I’m going to be a Grandma! I’ve waited so long for a baby to enter my little family, and my daughter goes into the hospital tonight to be induced. I can barely contain my excitement! I am thanking Jesus for this blessing!
As a new life is ready to the family, I watch as the older people in my family begin to struggle. My dad is 77, has diabetes and has a difficult time keeping his blood sugar under control. I see my siblings just beginning to slow down and have health issues. The family that once had paintball wars and stayed up all night playing games or sitting around a campfire, has started to opt for earlier bedtimes and taking a lot more time to just sit and relax. I just returned from a family reunion, and it struck me how very different we all are from the young people we once were not so long ago.
On the four-hour drive returning home from the family reunion, I began to contemplate life and my future. I thought about how, in a short 25 years, I will be the age of my parents. It brought up so many questions. Will I have many grandchildren? Great-grandchildren? Will I suffer from a disease like diabetes? Will I have to watch my parents die? My spouse? My siblings? How much mourning do I have in those short 25 years? How much pain will I witness? How many tears will I shed?
On a side note, I have studied Bible prophecy since I was a teenager. When I was pregnant with my twins in 1999, I wondered if I’d ever see their faces since Jesus was bound to return before they were ever born. Through the years, I’ve written of His return over and over. I have studied and read about His return for decades. I’ve had high hopes for the Rapture, only to have them dashed to pieces. Just when I thought He had to be coming for sure, I’ve been wrong. Every. Single. Time. Not a good track record. But I still have never given up that Blessed Hope, that I was one day going to be a part of the Rapture of the Church, that I would live to see Him coming in the clouds and hear the trumpet sound. He put that urgency in my heart and watching for Him has been such a joy! Thoughts of my own future has always centered around His Glorious Appearing.
…..Until now. Until the thoughts of my future I’ve mentioned started taking hold. Until I started thinking of a future without His coming. I spent 4 hours thinking of a future where He didn’t come for us, not giving one thought to His coming, and it scared me! I thought of the future fears, and it started to take hold of me. I had bad dreams that night. I had so much fear and anxiety.
And the next morning, I heard the still small voice of my Savior – “What about my coming?” It hit me like a sledgehammer. I physically jerked when I realized I had, for the first time, considered my future without giving one thought to the Rapture! How was that even possible? How could I just forget Him like that? Through my tears, I prayed and told my Jesus how very sorry I was and vowed to never push Him aside like that again.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind…..2 Timothy 1:7
and he says…
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…..Isaiah 41:10
Through my years of watching, I have seen so many watchers give up the watch. They have never given up on their salvation or their love for Jesus, but slowly, through time, they just quit talking about His coming. They let themselves become absorbed into their own lives and perhaps began to agree with the crowd that believes we have 30 to 50 years left before He comes. The urgency and excitement are gone. I watched this happen through the years, and I must admit, I was very hard on those people. I looked down on them for giving up so easily. My biggest fear was becoming one of “those people.” Yet, here I was, doing that very thing, forgetting a future where I see my Savior and contemplating a future without Him. His coming has always been an anchor in my life. My future always ended with meeting Him in the air. So how could I possibly, even for one day, turn my back on that?
And the answer is……..I don’t know. I haven’t backslidden. I have always made my relationship with God a priority in my life. Nothing has changed that. So how did I allow thoughts of a future without Him? I have one good guess:
The world we live in is getting darker by the moment. We have seen things happen that we never thought we, the church, would see. We see evil as the norm, and it’s growing exponentially. Jesus and God are swear words. Those that believe in Him are weak. Being self-centered isn’t just the norm, but the expected and the celebrated. Being godless is funny. Being angry is a daily way of life. Depression is normal. And those that believe in God only do so because they are dumb and need a “crutch.”
What we are seeing is the preparation for the Rapture and the coming tribulation. The evil that happens in the tribulation does not happen at the moment of the Rapture like many believe. It’s prepping for it, so that when the Holy Spirit and the church are taken, evil will only need to take one small step instead of taking leaps and bounds. It’s hard to understand how God allows all this evil, but He is still in control. He is letting sin have its way so that when He finally judges it, it will be a complete and perfectly full judgment.
I think those in tune with the Holy Spirit can feel this darkness grow. We are still in this world (but not of it), and it is so hard to not have it affect us. It’s so hard not to want to compromise with this evil. So as I prayed on that day and heard Him say “What of my coming?” I believe He allowed me to think of a future without Him. I think He allowed me to forget the Rapture for a day, so I could see that one day without Him was pure anxiety. I was worried, depressed, and scared. But, my friends, this is how the unbelievers feel every second of every day! They don’t have a Blessed Hope; they have no hope period. This made me see how much more we need to try to be reaching out to the lost.
When I went through this time, I realized I hadn’t left Jesus and He hadn’t left me. But He taught me a lesson in a way that I didn’t see coming. He taught me how desperately I need Him daily, how I need to rely on Him every moment to keep this world’s darkness at bay. It made me realize that He alone holds my future, not me. And yes, there will be pain in my future, as much as He chooses to allow. He will be there in my future, in my children’s future and in my grandchildren’s future.
He is my future.
So where do I go from here? How do I keep focusing on Him in a dark world? How do keep preparing for His coming? Once again, the Bible has the answers:
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation…..2 Peter 3:10-15
Obviously, God knew we would have our doubts. Heck, even the Apostles did! But He gave us simple answers, a simple focus, but at times in our lives it does not feel so simple. First, we need to live holy and godly lives so that we can speed the coming of Christ! Isn’t that amazing that if we live for Christ, being made holy through salvation, that we can speed His coming?!
Secondly, we not only want to be found spotless and blameless, which only comes through salvation in Christ, we need to be at peace with Him. And this flat out means, we just have to trust Him. And for me, that means I trust Him with the timing of His coming and I trust Him with my own personal future. Whew! That sure lifts a burden! My future is not mine, but His alone.
We also read that patience, the Lord’s patience, means salvation. If He seems like He is taking too long, like He should have come long ago, we need to remember this characteristic of the Lord. He is patient. He takes His time, knowing who would come to salvation. Sometimes I get so impatient to see Him, but then I think, would I want Him to come right now, knowing that a friend or family member would be saved tomorrow? No, I would want to wait. That is the reality He lives with every moment. If He is the King of Patience, I’m pretty sure He can grant me some of my own.
The next verses 17-18: 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
We should be so grateful that we have been forewarned, and we should use this knowledge to keep our guard up. As the world gets darker, we need to constantly be in prayer that we keep up our guard against the evils of this world. We do not want to fall from our secure position. This is not talking about losing salvation, but losing our security in Him, forgetting that He is in control and letting fear overwhelm us. I am guilty of this. I got a glimpse of it, and I didn’t like it. There is peace which comes only by trusting in Him absolutely. And finally, we need to grow in grace and knowledge. Not only am I to have grace for those that do not know Christ, but I also need to grow in grace for those that do. Who am I to judge anyone for not keeping up their watch? Perhaps God is teaching them and leading them down a different path? And growing in knowledge is easy, as you allow Him to bring that knowledge of Scripture through the Holy Spirit to you. Take time to read and study. Take time to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.
I thank God for my struggles. It refocuses my heart back to Him. And only when I truly focus on all that He is, can I truly love and focus on His coming. If I don’t live to see the Rapture, I’m okay with that. If I am supposed to suffer a long life on this earth, I am okay with that too, because I know that He is with me. I know that all of the waiting, the suffering and the future all leads to one moment in time, the moment that I see my Beloved’s face, the moment I’ve been longing for and will continue to long for every day that He chooses to give me.
My future is His.
The Rapture and its timing are His alone.
And when I surrender it all into His very capable hands, my anxiety is gone and my joy returns.
He’s got this.