My sweet friend Marcia Caine is a blogger as well, and has sweetly allowed me to share one of her blogs on my site. This is such a relevant blog in these times and such a good reminder that we need to be ready and stay alert. And most of all, ‘roll up our sleeves and get to work’!
I’m reading the Message translation of the Bible this year and recently read the following verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:3 I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.
Doesn’t this sound familiar? Isn’t this just what happened to us? I don’t know about you, but I was enjoying 2020. Work was going well, I looked forward to continuing my ministries with the Food Pantry and On A Wing and a Prayer, serving the homeless, singing with the choir, and was even having a song I wrote sung in one of the venues of my church. I had great plans. My birthday was coming up on March 20th, and I was going to be celebrating with friends that weekend, followed by some smaller celebrations, including a party at work.
However, suddenly, on Friday, March 13th, my boss told me not to come back to work until further notice. The following day my friend let me know that the club where my party was to be held was closed down. I was urged to stay at home for my own safety and the safety of others, and life as I knew it stopped. Just when, as the verse above says, I thought I had it made, here came some virus called the Coronavirus aka COVID-19.
Fast forward to May 25, 2020. Things are slowly getting better. California is opening up again. People are dining in restaurants for the first time in months. We are back at the parks, trails, and beaches in droves. We are able to get our hair cut! Now we can take it easy. Even though we have been warned that we will have to alter the way we live by wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, we are celebrating victory over COVID-19. We seemed to have it made once again.
And then, just as the scripture says above, suddenly everything fell apart again when four police officers determined that George Floyd’s life didn’t matter.
Both the virus and the rioting came “as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.” This really is a perfect description of how quickly our lives changed. Anyone who has ever gone through a routine childbirth knows that one minute you are pregnant, and the next, without warning, your water breaks, the contractions start, and hours later you are a mommy. The timing is always a surprise even though you have been pregnant for 9 months.
I would like to say that things have gotten better since May, but they really haven’t. Although in Orange County businesses are reopening, that good news is clouded by the fires, hurricanes, protests, the killing of both protesters and police officers, as well as the continuing division of our nation. In a world like this it is difficult to know what is next, but whatever is ahead, 1 Thessalonians 5:3 warns us that we can’t be complacent.
If the past six months are any indication, we need to be prepared for anything, including Jesus coming back at any minute. Are we ready? Will our loved ones and friends be with us when we are whisked off to Heaven? This is something to really think about today. Is there someone in your life that needs to hear about Jesus and salvation? For me, I am convicted by these thoughts. I know I need to roll up my sleeves and get to work!