36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.38 For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so, too, will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken, and one will be left. 42 Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day[b] your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
How do we wait? How do we wait for the return of our loved one serving overseas? How do we wait for test results that might reveal a potentially life-threatening disease? How do we wait for the birth of our much-anticipated first child? Can pondering these frequently experienced situations give us some insight into how we personally wait?
In reading and studying Matthew 24, I had the recurring question how do we wait for the second advent of our Lord. Scripture promises that the Son of Man is coming and that our future belongs to and is safe with the Messiah. We are told in no uncertain terms that no one knows the time or the hour of His coming. So how do we wait and prepare for this mysterious promise? Directions like “Stay awake” or “Be watchful” come to mind, but what does that really mean? Perhaps we are called to develop and practice a higher sense of awareness. Try to see the extraordinary presence of God in the ordinary routines of life.
Pray for the knowledge and ability to be the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world. Watch for the opportunity to share the good news with someone in need of hope. During this Advent season, imagine God’s love taking hold of our lives and directing us into the promise.
Contributed by Pam Gilbreath