Preparing For The Unexpected

Jesus reminds us we He will come back at a time we don't expect. He calls us to focus on being ready by fulfilling our responsibilities.

Preparing For The Unexpected

March 18, 2021

Boxed in with hundreds of other travelers and trailer trucks, my husband and I remained stranded on an Arizona highway for twelve hours. Slippery and icy roads had caused several accidents. Without notice, the Department of Transportation closed the highway. As temperatures dropped into the teens, we received no information indicating when the pass would reopen.

Although the storm surprised us, we had prepared for emergencies. Thankfully we had water, food, and a full tank of gas. As the hours stretched on, I reminded myself of the blog post I published only a couple of days earlier. Uncanny how God often puts a message on my heart because He knows I need it.

This became my opportunity to practice what I preached. 

Praying to God throughout this ordeal came easy. But how could I prosper during this time? Then I remembered the one thing I never have enough time to do: read. Using my Kindle app, I spent the long hours reading a WWII memoir.

When the highway finally reopened, I began to reflect. What did God want me to learn through this experience? 

His answer seems clear to me: the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.

In speaking of His second coming, Jesus reminded us of this important truth:

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:42-44 NIV)

In the years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve known many who tried to pinpoint the day Jesus will return. Yet Jesus always made it clear. We need to focus on being ready, because He will come at a time we don’t expect.

Just as my husband and I brought provisions for unexpected emergencies, we all need to prepare for the day Jesus comes back. 

Immediately after He called us to be ready, Jesus used a parable to explain what it means:

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” (Matthew 24:45-46 NIV)

Jesus made it clear we need to faithfully carry out the responsibilities He gives us. Jesus once summarized all of the commandments in this way:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)

Sometimes I complicate things. But Jesus breaks everything down to simple terms. I need to love God with all I have. For me, this means spending time studying His word, praying and growing in my obedience to His will. 

I also need to love others as I love myself. As I work to meet my own physical, emotional and spiritual needs, I need to do the same for those He places in my life. 

The truth remains. None of us know the day we will see Jesus again. He may call us home today, tomorrow or the next day. Or He may come back before He calls us home. The most important thing is to be ready.

As we continue traveling down the paths of our lives, I pray we focus on being ready to meet the One who will take us home.

Preparing For The Unexpected

March 18, 2021

Jesus reminds us we He will come back at a time we don't expect. He calls us to focus on being ready by fulfilling our responsibilities.

Boxed in with hundreds of other travelers and trailer trucks, my husband and I remained stranded on an Arizona highway for twelve hours. Slippery and icy roads had caused several accidents. Without notice, the Department of Transportation closed the highway. As temperatures dropped into the teens, we received no information indicating when the pass would reopen.

Although the storm surprised us, we had prepared for emergencies. Thankfully we had water, food, and a full tank of gas. As the hours stretched on, I reminded myself of the blog post I published only a couple of days earlier. Uncanny how God often puts a message on my heart because He knows I need it.

This became my opportunity to practice what I preached. 

Praying to God throughout this ordeal came easy. But how could I prosper during this time? Then I remembered the one thing I never have enough time to do: read. Using my Kindle app, I spent the long hours reading a WWII memoir.

When the highway finally reopened, I began to reflect. What did God want me to learn through this experience? 

His answer seems clear to me: the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.

In speaking of His second coming, Jesus reminded us of this important truth:

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:42-44 NIV)

In the years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve known many who tried to pinpoint the day Jesus will return. Yet Jesus always made it clear. We need to focus on being ready, because He will come at a time we don’t expect.

Just as my husband and I brought provisions for unexpected emergencies, we all need to prepare for the day Jesus comes back. 

Immediately after He called us to be ready, Jesus used a parable to explain what it means:

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” (Matthew 24:45-46 NIV)

Jesus made it clear we need to faithfully carry out the responsibilities He gives us. Jesus once summarized all of the commandments in this way:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)

Sometimes I complicate things. But Jesus breaks everything down to simple terms. I need to love God with all I have. For me, this means spending time studying His word, praying and growing in my obedience to His will. 

I also need to love others as I love myself. As I work to meet my own physical, emotional and spiritual needs, I need to do the same for those He places in my life. 

The truth remains. None of us know the day we will see Jesus again. He may call us home today, tomorrow or the next day. Or He may come back before He calls us home. The most important thing is to be ready.

As we continue traveling down the paths of our lives, I pray we focus on being ready to meet the One who will take us home.

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2 Comments

  1. Jody on March 26, 2021 at 10:21 AM

    Thank you dear friend for such a GOOD WORD!!! I love how you use everyday life and so aptly pull lessons and scriptures to illustrate our daily walk! I am so inspired by you and of course so soothed and challenged by God’s perfect Word of Life! Hugs to you always, Jody

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on March 26, 2021 at 5:22 PM

      Thanks Jody! I always cherish your feedback. I love your observation of how God teaches us the deep truths of His word through the events of our daily lives. 💕

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