By Elisabeth K.
We watch with baited breath as the world compliantly, cooperatively, gleefully, jumps into the hand basket that is taking it to hell; and we are waiting-waiting-waiting for the Rapture. Maybe I’m not the only one literally looking skyward some days, hoping to catch a glimpse of Jesus on the horizon. I even had a dream about it not long ago. I was in a beautiful grassy field with thousands of other people, and we were all running up a hill with our arms stretched out–we were all calling for Jesus to come down out of the sky and take us home.
It’s a wonderful thing to anticipate. I literally get a little thrill in my soul when it really hits me that we could all be in heaven soon and our earthly fight will be over. But it isn’t like waiting on Christmas–we can’t just sit here making a list of all the great things we’re going to do and the questions we’re going to ask when we get to heaven.
We need to seriously consider what we each can be doing while we wait, and it won’t be the same for everyone. But we all should be doing something. Personally, I worry about how much treasure I’m storing up in heaven–not because I expect to find a giant pile of angel gold so I can go shopping or anything. I don’t want to get up there and have only a tiny pile of glitter to show my Father simply because I spent so much of my life wasting time by waiting with my hands in my lap.
Now, I’m a very contrary person. Sometimes this can benefit me–most times it does not. But I find that in certain situations, it is just what I need. It keeps me from believing lies–it keeps me from accepting any old story that comes down the pike–it keeps me on my toes. Mega-churches however well-meaning and/or possibly effective they may be in getting the good news out, annoy me.
I have never felt welcome, at home, or even close to God while attending one. Maybe it’s my fault. But because of this contrariness and my aversion to enormous, impersonal churches, I have reached an important conclusion which, while it may not apply to everyone, is certainly applicable to me and those like me.
It’s all about the one-on-one. In this world of enormousness subtlety is a lost art. Everything is the most outrageous-biggest-extreme-deadliest-fastest thing that ever came down the pike. Have you noticed? Talking to people one-on-one and actually relating to them on a personal level is unheard of. We’re a society of reaching-the-masses to the point where the individual is no longer important. We are trite, we speak by rote, and we don’t connect with one another anymore.
I used to think that in order to be effective for God and useful to Him in the world, I had to be capable of making a sweeping global change in some area of service. But we can’t all be Mother Theresa or Billy Graham. Some of us are just regular shmoes who go to work every day and just hope to make it home in one piece. We regular shmoes are just as “important” in God’s plans as world-famous religious pioneers, otherwise why would God have made so many of us?
Every day in my job as a legal assistant at a one-man law firm I come across tragedy, pain, need, hurt, and confusion. And every day, almost without fail, opportunities present themselves to me that I know God is sending. The chance to pray for a young man on his third drug charge–to pray with a woman who has been married for almost 30 years and whose husband has suddenly filed for divorce–to counsel a young soldier who has been duped into marriage by someone he barely knows and who is using him for military benefits and ruining his credit–to offer advice to an older lady who is being taken advantage of by someone.
My boss and I are uniquely positioned to help people every single day we come to work. I fear I have missed many of these opportunities for fear of the reaction I might receive–but God is giving me a boldness which I have never had before in my life. I am convinced He is using me in these last days before the Rapture to try to plant a seed of hope and curiosity about Him in the hearts of those I meet.
I think that is what it has all come down to. You don’t have to shout from a mountain top to be heard. You don’t have to put up billboards and run full-page ads in the newspaper to make a point. You can just sit down with some of the other regular folks you meet each day and tell them about how God is working in your life. What better occupation in which to be engaging when He comes to call you home?
In addition to this daily ministry for strangers, I am preparing my own home and family for Christ’s return. My husband is Jewish, and only barely at that. He likes Chanukah and going to weddings but that’s about it. He tells me that he and God have “an understanding.” I tell him I’m worried about him, and oh, by the way, did you know this or that new thing I just read on the Rapture Ready site? He thinks I’m obsessed and probably a little nuts for believing in “the whole Jesus thing.” He smiles, not condescendingly, really–patiently.
When I remind him when the time comes and I disappear he is NOT to take the mark of the beast, but to accept Christ right away. (He thinks he knows better.) But if the Rapture happens before I die, and he is there to witness it all the things I’ve told him, hopefully he’ll finally believe–pray daily that the Rapture will happen while he and I are in the same room so there can be no doubt.
All this may not seem like much, but I can at least plant the seeds. So can we all–with a friend, an acquaintance, a relative who is not a believer. Who knows who you might be preparing for the Kingdom just by telling them you prayed for them? And my motto has become, “When there’s a delay–it’s time to pray.” Talk about passing the time in traffic! There’s always an endless list of people who need prayer, including me.
I’ll never make a huge impact on the world. But I hope that when I finally get to meet my heavenly Father and look Him in the eye, I won’t be completely ashamed of my efforts. I want Him to place His hand on my head and smile and tell me I did all right–that I didn’t disappoint Him as I fear that I do. And then I want Him to smile on my husband as he comes marching proudly through the pearly gates and I get to tell him, one last time, “I told you so.”