Recently I read that the Bubonic Plague, or Black Death, killed over 50% of the population in the 1300s and lasted seven years. That stopped me in my tracks. And while it doesn’t make light of what we have all been through in this past year’s pandemic it gives me pause to realize, there is nothing new under the sun.
I imagine there were Christians during that time who were sure Jesus was returning. Just like I am sure was the case during the Holocaust or other horrific time periods in history.
The truth is since Eve took that forbidden fruit this world has been under a fallen curse. There will always be sickness, pandemics, murders, wars, and ultimately death.
We long for a world of peace and harmony. Prosperity and health. We long for all to be well. And that longing is because we are designed for a world like that. It just doesn’t exist here. We will only find it when Jesus returns.
We shouldn’t be surprised when pandemics occur, or wars, or tragedies. We shouldn’t be surprised when loved ones fall ill and people lose jobs and times get tough. We shouldn’t be surprised when battles rage and people die.
After all, no one, not one, gets out of here alive. Our physical bodies eventually give out no matter what we try to do to stop it. Because our final day on earth was determined long ago. Exactly how many breaths we will take is already known. But our human nature does everything possible to evade that truth. We do all we can to push that truth deep down.
But it is only when we face that truth head-on, that we can truly live. When we understand that our time on earth is finite but our time in heaven is infinite, we then stop living for the here and now and grab hold of our eternal home.
This world is a scary place for those without Christ. But for those who have died to our old selves and walk with Him, we know that every struggle we face is one step closer to living with Him.
I am constantly reminded of people like Paul, who while in jail talked about love, gentleness, humility, and mercy. He told us to live is Christ and to die is gain. He lost all for the sake of the Gospel. He sang psalms of thanksgiving and praise while in chains! Because he was free. He was free of being tied down to this world. He lived freely in his life with Christ. He knew his eternal reward awaited him, yet while on earth, his goal wasn’t to avoid pain and hardship, but to walk through it, for the sake of the Gospel.
Oh, to have that faith. When things are falling apart around me, to look heavenward and know that there is more. So much more. To walk through circumstances that are difficult, but to do so with Jesus. It makes all the difference.
The Bible says we should not be surprised when fiery trials come our way. Expect them. And remember, this world is not our home. We have a purpose in the here and now, but it is ultimately for the Kingdom.
May we all remember, we don’t know when Jesus will return, and we shouldn’t speculate. After all, every generation in every century has always thought this is it!
But if it was, are you ready?
If you have questions, reach out to me! I may not have all the answers, but I will point you to the book that does. The Bible. I will pray with you and for you. I know that I once lived without Christ and this world would be a terrifying place right now without Him. Thankfully, He is with me.
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