Since we are approaching the end of all things, be intentional, purposeful, and self-controlled so that you can be given to prayer.
1 Peter 4:7 (TPT)
Wendy and I had the joy of hosting a houseful of her family this past weekend. It was fun to have Wendy’s grandmother over and to surround her with loved ones she doesn’t get to see very often. Grandma is in her nineties and still living independently here in town.
I remember my own grandfather who lived well into his nineties. I have observed that there’s a particular reality that people go through at that age. There’s a loneliness that sets in when most everyone they knew as contemporaries are gone. With it, there is a questioning of why they are still on this Earth.
As I was among my local gathering of Jesus’ followers yesterday morning I happened to note those who have gone through the agony of having children die.
Those who wonder why they are still here, and those who wonder why that had to bury a child before their young lives even got started. Welcome to the mystery.
In today’s chapter, Peter tells the followers of Jesus scattered and living in exile that the end of all things was near. This was something that the early believers wholeheartedly believed. Despite the fact that Jesus Himself said that no one knew when He would return, the early believers assumed it could be any minute, and urged Jesus’ followers to live as if it could be any minute.
Along my life journey, I have observed that believers of almost every generation I’ve lived with have been convinced that Jesus’ return and the end of all things were near. As an amateur historian, I’ve learned that believers throughout history have been convinced of the same.
Theologians call it “the imminent return of Christ.” In other words, it could happen at any moment, and I do believe that. I also believe that Jesus was right when He told His followers that the exact time of the end times would remain a mystery. That means that it is also very possible that those of my generation will be like Peter and those of every subsequent generation who was convinced they would live and die believing they’d see the events of John’s Revelation take place in person.
In the same way, I have also observed that this earthly journey is both fragile and mysterious. While the average person expects to live to the average age, every day the journey ends for individuals far sooner than anyone expected. This is also part of the mystery.
In the quiet this morning, I find myself coming to one spiritual conclusion from these mysteries of the unknown future: Let the uncertainty of tomorrow inform the way I approach today.
As Jesus put it:
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”And so, I enter another day. Have a good one, my friend.