Surprise! There are people who love surpises. There are also people who are not comfortable with surprises. For both accounts, the element of surprise, the unknown, and the suspense of it are the reasons why some people love it while others do not prefer it.
There are different types of surprises. There are pleasant ones and there are unpleasant ones. In my line of work, as a teacher, I hate surprise visits or surprise class observations by our superiors. It is just too stressful and too nerve-wracking for me. I easily get stressed so, imagine how stressed I would feel if the School Principal or our supervisor suddenly stands at the door unannounced to observe my class. School Principals have the habit of roaming around and peek through classrooms unannounced. A time or two, I remember, I was busy talking in front of the class and when I turned my head, I saw our School Principal at the door. Guess what? I suddenly could not remember what I was saying to the class and I was like a muted audio device. When she walked towards the next room, I had to ask my students to help me recall where I stopped. This kind of surprises are killing me. It has benefits, though. Teachers become more aware of their accountability and responsibility. Through the surprise visits, teachers are jolted back to the reality that they should always be prepared to teach their class. If caught unprepared, the teacher can experience both embarrassment and a heavy scolding plus the unforgettable bad impression the teacher leaves.
There is another surprise that if we are caught unprepared, we might receive far more than an embarrassment but a regret for eternity. It is the second coming of Christ. The Bible says, Jesus Christ, will come again and His coming is sure. However, Jesus can come at a time when we least expect it.
“In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.”– John 14:2-3 (WEB)
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”– Revelation 22:12-13 (WEB)
Do not be caught unprepared at the second coming of Christ. Jesus said that His second coming will happen at a time like in the days of Noah when people were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage and the flood suddenly took them away (Matthew 24:38-39). At Jesus’ second coming, one person will be taken away while the other will be left (Matthew 24:40-41). I was considering this illustration quite pensively and pondering it with combined dread and faith. If this suddenly happens, will I be one of those persons who will be taken away or would I find myself left alone? These are serious questions. The more I thought of it, the more I prayed to God to keep me in His will and help me obey His will in my life. I prayed the same prayer for my husband and children. I realized what a dreadful thing it can be to be caught unprepared when Jesus suddenly appears in the clouds with all His angels. This thought led me to the realization of how important obedience to God is. Sometimes, being so caught up with the demands of work, the pressures of challenges, the ambitions that drive us, every day responsibilities, and many more things around us, we forget that Jesus should come first in all of these. There are times when we easily give in to anger, irritability, impatience, jealousy, envy, and lust. In one way or another, we give in to weariness and discouragement and we forget that we should be persevering in faith and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said,
“Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes.”– Matthew 24:46 (WEB)
It is highly important that we are awake all the time; that we do not grow weak, blind, unmotivated, and lost. We must stay alert and awake by staying on the course of faith and obedience to the Lord. We have to watch out for our faith and the faith of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We must be ready at all times. Who knows Jesus suddenly comes when we are asleep, or when we are so busy at work, or when we are taking an enjoyable meal, or when we are outside with friends. Anytime can be the time of His coming. Any day can be His day of coming. Let us be prepared. Walk steadfastly in the will of God. Jesus is coming soon.
“Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don’t expect, the Son of Man will come.”– Matthew 24:44 (WEB)
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat; and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”– 2 Peter 3:10-13 (WEB)