|Photo by Shamli071 2011|
It is a blessing that God gives us “reset buttons” like these – the start of a new year, month, or day; the anniversary of our birth, marriage, or second birth (John 3:3-8) when we got saved by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6). These fresh starts remind us of His mercies, which are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and His forgiveness of our sins, if we sincerely ask Him to forgive (1 John 1:9).
But 3-2-1 can also signify the start of a race, with three counts until the starter’s pistol. Just as the crouched sprinter leaps into action, may we be ready to charge forth and run with determination and patience the race God has set before us (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1), once He gives the clear signal.
Or consider a momentous event, like a space launch. Years of preparation, design, planning, and expense culminating in a single burst of power, opening new frontiers for exploration and discovery. When we hear that countdown to blastoff, we realize that in that instant, the world is propelled to new horizons. Similarly, the urging we hear as the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts may mean that our years of faithful service are about to open a new door as He invites us to cross the threshold into a new field of ministry (Galatians 4:6).
Celebrities giving interviews or performing on television or radio are also informed of minutes, then seconds, then 3-2-1 before the broadcast goes live. They may have already been there for hours in wardrobe and makeup, which may seem to them like “hurry up and wait.” But they must wait for their cue to begin their message if they wish to reach viewers and listeners around the world.
Timing is key on air and in life, and we must remember to wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14; 33:20; 37:7-9; 34), and His perfect timing, before we speak or act on His behalf. With the Lord, one day may seem as a thousand years, or vice versa (2 Peter 3:8), but that is beyond our understanding (Job 42:3; Psalm 139:6). All we need to do is to be instant in season, out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), and to respond to and obey His call when He gives clear direction.
Sometimes it seems that the passing of time slows to glacial speed – like when we’re at the dentist, and he cheerfully announces that the humongous needle he’s holding will enter our jaw on the backward count of three. Yet other times, particularly when we’re caught up in something we’re passionate about, time races along at breakneck speed. Except for the very young, we’ve all experienced how each passing year seems to race by more quickly the older we get.
Perhaps that’s because we become more aware that a life is but a vapor, vanishing before our eyes like the breath escaping our nose on a wintry day (James 4:14). One day our life on earth will end (Hebrews 9:27), and it is unlikely that we will know that only seconds remain.
Lately I find myself longing for time to advance to the point when time will be no more – when God’s children shall without warning or countdown hear the trumpet call (Matthew 24:31). In a twinkling of an eye – faster than we could imagine – we shall be transformed into our glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:52) and be transported to Heaven, where we shall forever be with the Lord and our loved ones in Him!
Could 2023 be the year of the Rapture? No man knows the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36; 25:13), but all the signs are in place. We know for certain that Christ will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16), and that the Rapture is one day closer today than it was yesterday. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
© 2022 Laurie Collett