Around 1130 on September 11, 2001, my mum told her three babies, “We are under attack; America is going to war.”
As the oldest, I sat there, stunned. I remember thinking about how much I loved reading accounts of our wars and the heroes that either fought or were formed by those wars. Suddenly, I had no desire to touch those books for a long while.
My sister put her arm around our sobbing mother. My 5 year old brother was quite upset. “But I haven’t even gotten to be baptized yet!” He did not quite realize that while this war would cost our family and friends quite dearly, which not even us older ones realized, we would still be free. He was baptized later that year.
For my entire Christian life, I have had that attitude – in reverse.
“But God, I really want to get married and have my own babies, a nice career. . .Could you hold off on sounding that trumpet until after I’ve had that chance?”
Honestly, I have disliked reading, studying, and hearing of the end times for as long as I can remember. I know I will be marching behind my Lord, the LORD of hosts, for the final battle. I’ve put in a request for how I want my mansion to look (it’s a good thing He is 1) omniscient and 2) the Creator . . .my design requests have changed quite a few times over the years!).
This morning in church as our pastor – recently returned from a trip to Israel – began touching on the end times, I held back a groan and yet again told God I would truly prefer He wait.
By the end of the service, for the first time in my life, my mind and heart was changed on that subject.
I didn’t feel that frantic, rushed feeling of finite time here on earth during which I want to complete my check list.
I actually got those chills, that quickened breath, and that building excitement only a believer, upon hearing of things falling into place, of prophecies being fulfilled in our time leading to the second coming of the Messiah, can feel.
It began upon hearing of the Jews returning home from being scattered abroad for thousands of years.
It began to build upon hearing that the Jews have the original recipe for the temple incense (and really, think of the miracle that is in and of itself!).
I thought I could not be more excited upon hearing of how well-prepared the Jews are for the new temple to be completed to the point where they just need the land to become theirs again.
I thought wrong.
I have seen pictures of Armageddon, but seeing a picture of it, after hearing everything else, while having the prophecy of that battle read followed by seeing the picture of the east gate where, upon His victory, Jesus the Christ, the Word of God, will triumphantly enter Jerusalem.
My heart, my prayer changed.
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”