How Long?

I watched the excitement exude from my daughter as she whizzed around the house getting ready. On what would have been a normally slow-moving Sunday morning,  the place was abuzz with activity. She had a long anticipated appointment with a family friend and she couldn’t wait. Although she had received confirmation the night before, she still wondered aloud if I had confirmed again THIS morning.

Soon she was dressed in her Sunday best, an entire 15 mins early.

And so she sat down to wait.

At first she was quite patient, after all she knew that she had gotten ready early.

But as the minutes crawled by, she began to fidget.

“What time did she say Mommy?” She would ask from time to time and I would gently reassure her for what seemed like the umpteenth time.

Soon 15 minutes had passed.

Then another.

And I watched a rain cloud slowly weave its way across the sky to settle atop my daughter’s head.

Her once erect posture had dissolved into a slump. Her hands, once eagerly clutching her purse, now propped up a pouting face.

Her head averted, she tried to dash away the tears she didn’t want me to see.

“I’m sorry baby,” I said. “I don’t know what could have happened.”

She studiously ignored all my attempts to comfort her and headed to her room.

Between mumbles I deduced that she was no longer interested in going,  after all our friend hadn’t shown up anyway.

My heart broke at the sight of my 8 year old in such obvious pain.

Finally she’d decided to change out of her clothes when lo and behold we heard the beep of a horn.

Sure enough her ride had arrived as promised, albeit 45 minutes late.

“Do you still want to go?” I asked.

Her tear-filled eyes looked straight at me as she said softly, “Yes.”

A quick swipe of a face rag cleared away all the teary evidence and she was on her way. Maybe not with as much pep in her step, but she was going.

Had our friend arrive seconds later, well the story may have been different.

I am sure I will hear the reason for the unusually-delayed pick up at some point. But in the meantime I couldn’t help but think…are we like that as Christians?

Ever since we’ve known ourselves we’ve been told that Jesus is coming.

For some of us we heard our grandparents say it; they’ve long since passed to their rest and  Jesus hasn’t come yet.

Now our parents are aging and still nothing.

In fact age is creeping up on us and yet we are still waiting.

Were we like my daughter, earlier in the morning, when we first gave our hearts to God? Eager and excited for his soon return?

But as the years have rolled on, have we gone from anxious to dejected to just flat-out uninterested?

My daughter had even convinced herself that she hadn’t really wanted to go in the first place. (Really?) Any flimsy attempt to stem the hurt of perceived rejection.

But are we guilty of the same? While we wait and rough times come, do we doubt and say unimaginable things like, “There’s no God anyway!”

Let us remember that Jesus said that he would come as a thief in the night. (1 Thess. 5:2) So we must all be watchful and ready at all times. Let us not be caught like the five foolish virgins, sleeping with our lamps out. (Matt. 25: 6-13)

There are many distractions out there and if we don’t keep our eyes fixed on Jesus while we wait, we will lose out big time.

Had my daughter changed clothes and crawled under the covers like she’d planned, she would have missed out on an enjoyable occasion.

May God keep us faithful until he comes because all the waiting will be WORTH IT when he does.


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