“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
I grew up thinking that pregnancy lasts 9 months.
That’s what I was always told, and I’ve since learned that this was not untrue, but it’s certainly a bit misleading.
If I were to ask you “How many weeks are in a month?” you’re immediate answer might be 4, which is how I always figured it.
However, somewhere along the line, I was updated with seemingly brand new intel that a month is technically 4.33 weeks long, which helps account for the math.
12 months/year x 4 weeks/month = 48 weeks/year?
(The extra .33 weeks/month makes up the rest of the true 52 weeks!)
Now this is certainly not revolutionary for most adults, but it definitely complicated our pregnancy math the first time around with our first daughter Amelia. We awaited her arrival with eager expectation, and improper math/understanding of time could have led to some interesting consequences.
If we didn’t do the math correctly, we could have set ourselves up for early arrival and disappointingly waiting, twiddling our thumbs for 4 extra weeks. Worse yet, we could have had a baby 4 whole weeks earlier than expected and may not have been prepared!
We now find ourselves in this same position once again, eagerly awaiting our due date for our sweet Riley to make her grand entrance. We’ve been told that she’ll be here by the end of the month!
Consider this interesting scenario: imagine waiting in eager expectation for something even bigger, even more important, even more wonderful than a baby being born. On top of this, imagine waiting with such eager expectancy and not knowing when to expect this big, important, wonderful event.
How does the magnitude of an event change how much or how little you eagerly expect it?
How does knowing or not knowing the time and place of an event change how much or how little you eagerly expect it?
How do these factors change how you prepare for an event like this?
The verses above are Jesus direct words, speaking about His own return, and they serve both as an encouragement and a warning.
They’re an encouragement because they remind us that Jesus is coming as the ultimate victor, and as the King Himself. This is amazing news! As exciting as expecting a baby is, how much more exciting is expecting our Lord and Savior!
Aww, but the encouragement must be balanced with the sobering reality that Jesus is actually coming. Just like the ways that expecting parents prepare their homes, their jobs, and their lifestyles for the arrival of a baby, we must also prepare our minds, our hearts, and our spirits for the arrival of Jesus. This is a warning because we must be prepared for His arrival, even though we don’t know when to expect this big, important, wonderful event.
It would only make sense that such an event would drastically alter the way that we live, and alter the things that we value, right?
Let’s put the uncomfortable question out there:
Do you live in expectancy of Jesus’ coming?
Or to put it another way:
Are you prepared for Jesus coming back? Is this event actually important to you?
This is the difficult reality that we all must wrestle with, that our lives sometimes don’t reflect this sense of expectancy. In fact, we often get caught up with stresses, worries, and affairs that only impact our immediate happiness and gratification, without much regard for our eternal home.
That’s a bit uncomfortable, isn’t it? Personally, it makes me feel a bit uneasy, and certainly convicted!
So what do we do with all of this?
Well, let’s go back to the example of expecting a new baby – what would you do to prepare for that?
Similarly, asking yourself what kinds of preparations you ought to make for Jesus can be helpful for deciding where to place your focus and energy during your daily life.
No one can decide any of this for you, so your relationship with the Holy Spirit will be your best bet here.
Everyone’s starting point will be different, but here are a few guiding questions that might be worth working through as you learn to further lean on this sense of expectancy.
– Do you live in expectancy of Jesus’ coming?
– Are you prepared for Jesus coming back? Is this event actually important to you?
– In what ways does your daily walk with the Spirit reflect your focus on eternity?
– In what ways does your daily life show priorities other than eternity?