But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You must also be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. Luke 12:39-40)
Shortly after Billy Campbell’s plane took off from LaGuardia Airport on January 15th, 2009, it ran into a flock of geese. Billy knew they were in trouble when the left engine burst into flames. He knew things were dire when it became clear that the Hudson River might be their emergency runway. And he knew things were desperate when the captain said, “Brace for impact in 55 seconds.”
When Billy heard those words, he thought he had less than a minute to live. During that time, two things happened to him. First, he had a series of beautiful memories. Second, instead of being afraid, he was filled with gratitude and peace.
The message of the Second Coming in the New Testament is this: Brace for the impact of meeting Jesus when He comes again.
As we face the Second Coming, Jesus wants two things. First, He wants us to stop procrastinating and put our houses in order. Second, He wants us to move from fearing His coming again to looking forward to it. Here’s our challenge: How can we move from “brace for impact” to “trust in His embrace?”
In the messages of Jesus coming again, we’re warned to not get caught living in ways we shouldn’t. When Jesus comes again, how do we want to be caught? We want to be caught loving, forgiving, trusting, sharing, and serving.
When we someday review our life with Jesus, I wonder if the greatest grief we’ll see on His face is the times when we didn’t trust His love. After all, God has given in Jesus; how could we have lived so small, so anxious, so fearful, so willful?
If we don’t want to get caught someday unawares, I encourage us to live each day like Jesus has already caught us. If we live each day caught by Him, we’ll move from “brace for impact” to “trust in his embrace.” If we live each day caught by Him, we don’t need to live in fear, regardless of whether we have 55 seconds, 55 days, or 55 years left to live.
- If Jesus were to come back tomorrow, or if you were to meet Jesus face to face tomorrow, would you be ready?
- If not, what would it take for you to get ready? What cleaning up, what changing, what preparing do you need to do?
- When you someday do your final review with Jesus, what will bring the greatest joy to His face? How would your life change if you wanted to give Jesus joy every day?