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When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:3 (NLT)

Imagine the setting. You’re sitting on your deck enjoying the last remnants of light from a warm summer evening. As you look to the west, lost in your thoughts, you see clouds on the horizon. It’s the makings of a beautiful sunset as the sun sinks prematurely below the billowing thunderheads.

Then you see it…you think. “Was that lightning?” You ask yourself as you continue to watch the horizon. A few moments later your suspicions are confirmed. A second flash of light brightens the darkening horizon. As you watch the approaching storm the signs of its inevitable arrival multiply. The once calm wind begins to blow, occasional rumbles of thunder are heard, the lightning flashes grow more frequent. A storm is coming.

The word picture can conjure up all sorts of emotions. If you are relatively assured of your safety and the safety of your loved ones you may look forward to the oncoming storm. There is nothing as awesome as a good ole’ fashioned summer thunderstorm.

On the other hand, you may feel some concern. Thunderstorms can bring hail to destroy crops. Heavy rain can wash out roads. Wind can cause massive destruction and even death. Your emotions about the coming storm depend on your feeling of personal safety and/or trust in the outcome of the storm.

When Jesus left the disciples he prepared them for his departure by promising his return. He didn’t tell them when he’d return, but he told them how and what to look for. He told them about the gathering storm clouds on the horizon; about the deterioration of the family as God ordained it; about economic upheaval; of political unrest.

He warned us of false prophets and teachings that would claim a new way, a better way than the way of the Good News of Jesus Christ. ‘Just as you know the signs of the seasons,” he would say to his disciples, “watch the signs of the times.”

We don’t know when Jesus will come back for us. Forget those who have all the numbers and the codes figured out. Forget the stories about asteroids and alien spaceships. Put away the white toga and take the ladder away from the roof. You don’t need to wait for a specific time or place. In fact, at a time we least expect his arrival he will come for those who have accepted his grace and forgiveness. How? Like the lightning. Just a flash and I’ll be gone. 

If I’m talking to you at a coffee shop and suddenly disappear, it’s nothing personal. I’ve been called. If you see my car idling by the side of the freeway with no sign of me? I’m in a better place with NO traffic jams.

I see the storm clouds on the horizon. I know the signs. A storm will be here soon. I’m just waiting for the lightning!

PRAYER: Jesus, in spite of how many struggles we have here, I’m feeling truly blessed with my life in you. Still, I can’t wait until I get to see you face to face. Thank you for the promise that someday, maybe today, you will come back for me. Amen.

(thanks to pictureapromise for the great photo! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pictureapromise/264103118342?sk=wall#!/pages/Pictureapromise/264103118342 )

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