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  • Writer's pictureCara Alvillar

Arranging Priorities

This past weekend at church our worship team lead a song that had the phrase, “Even so come, LORD Jesus come.” This phrase has sparked some very serious thinking on my part this week. There are so many things that we envision doing in our lives. We want to meet that special someone and get married, have children and establish family traditions. We want to find our perfect homes and live long enough to see our kids grow and flourish into adults, and one day enjoy what comes in that next phase of adulthood. While these things sound great and pretty typical for most people, I can’t help but think, where does my desire for the LORD’s return fall in those plans? Is my desire to be with the LORD being pushed off to accommodate the plans that I think are better than His? Am I putting my own desires for things, or events in this life above the splendor that is promised in eternal life?

While I don’t think we should all walk around in doom-and-gloom waiting for death, I think that we really should be examining how we truly view the end of our life here on this earth. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:6,

"Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the LORD."

No matter how wonderful our life experiences here in this life are, we are not in the presence of God, which means that we are missing out on everything His presence brings. I’m not denying that God can give us some truly great things in this life. I have had people and experiences in this life that I am forever grateful for, and would not trade for anything in this world. But when the days are hard, and things look bleak, are those the days that I hope the LORD returns a little faster? What about when things seem to be going “my way” and the blessings feel like they are flowing. Is my cry for His return as loud during those times?

I never thought of myself as someone who wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I wasn’t all that sure I would be any good at raising kids. But being a mom and watching my kids grow and become their own person, is something that brings me so much joy. To see them develop their personalities blows my mind every day. There’s no question that I want to be here for every minute of it, and I want to watch them grow up. I want to see them succeed at life, and follow their dreams, and build lives that they are passionate about. But what if the LORD returns before they get there? What if the future that I envision for them is not what the LORD has in store? Is my cry still, “Even so come, LORD Jesus come”? Or am I expecting Him to delay His plans for mine?

We have family members and friends that are not walking with the LORD right now. While I pray for them daily and hope that one day their hearts will be given to Jesus, I have no idea when, or if that may happen. I know the LORD is faithful and can save anyone He wants to at any time. I know their salvation is not dependent on my prayers or our relationship, but I still can’t help but hope to see that transformation one day. I still hope that whether it’s with my words or someone else’s, that they will finally understand and surrender themselves to God’s will. But if I never see that acceptance of the LORD from them, is my cry still “Even so come, LORD Jesus come”? What if they never make that declaration to believe and follow Him? What if they never repent? Do I want to the LORD to change His plans to accommodate theirs? If they continue to live in sin and reject Jesus, do I want the LORD to delay His return so they can continue in sin?

I’m in no way saying that I hope people end up in Hell, or that I don’t want or trust that the LORD can save them. But is my urgency for His return any different based on the relationships I have with family and friends around me?

I think sometimes we can look at the return of the LORD as a way to escape the chaos and uncomfortable life circumstances that we have to deal with. It’s no secret that this world is becoming a more hostile and unstable place to be. Look around, whether you’re a believer in Christ or not, you have to wonder, how much longer can we go on like this? How much worse can it get? Christians especially have been feeling a sense of urgency to share the Gospel and reach as many people as we can. But the coming of the LORD should not be desired so that we can just escape what’s happening. Let’s not forget that there are still plenty of souls that need to be saved. Plenty of men, women, and children that need to know that the gift of salvation is freely available through Jesus Christ. Our job is still to make disciples of ALL nations, not just the ones we deem as ripe for the picking.

So, what is it that I really desire when I think about the return of Jesus? What if I don’t get to see my kids grow up and get married? What if we never get to buy our perfect family home? What if we never get to see our ministry reach people on a larger scale than we do now, and our current projects don’t get finished? I’m putting my hope and my trust in the plans that the LORD has. I am believing that He will come when He knows the work of His saints is finished. I’m confident that He will come when all those that He knows will be His, have surrendered themselves to Him and repented of their sins. I trust that He will not come a moment too soon, or a moment too late. The current phase of His work on this earth will be done, and He will be ready to start a new phase for a different purpose. 2 Corinthians 5:8 says,

“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the LORD.”

The plans Jesus has for His believers and the world, are perfect, just, and righteous. There is nothing He hasn’t considered and nothing left to chance. His return is the only thing that will bring true peace and rest to us. Knowing these things, I will continue to diligently share the Gospel as often as I can. I will ask the LORD to show me every opportunity to tell someone about His perfect Son that offers us everything, and asks for nothing in return, except faith that He is right and true. I will live each day knowing that my actions don’t earn or preserve my salvation, but they represent the One that has given it to me. And I will continue to plan for a future, but always do my best to leave space in my heart and my mind, that those plans may never come to fruition because Someone much greater may come instead - and I’m okay with that. Because the cry of my heart is still “Even so come, LORD Jesus come…” but help me to wait for you with right motivation and the right expectation.

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