For the past week my husband has been baby-sitting a cat named Norma – at her house, not ours. Norma’s family is away for the week.
This cat-sitting interlude is rather miraculous, as David really does not like cats – at all. But, Norma is a rather shy cat and only comes to him for a little head-rub affection once a day or so. She is not a lap-sitter, let-me-sharpen-my claws-on-your-pant-leg and sleep-on-your-pillow kind of cat. She’s low-maintenance – fill her cat-food dish and change her litter box twice a day and she’s all set.
Which gives David time to work on his new book; so I opted to stay home and work on some of my own projects.
The house feels empty and rather lonely when David isn’t here, especially at night. He has come home several times to take care of some business and to check on me.
He left again this morning, and even though I know he will return in two days, I really miss him. He’s the kind of man whose presence fills whatever room he’s in. And since his office is in our home, I’m used to the sense of his being in easy reach.
I sat watching the birds at our feeders shortly after David left, and suddenly felt a surge of longing for his return. So, I began my morning personal quiet time, partly to distract myself.
After reading a portion of Scripture, I began to pray for the needs of family and friends, for our country and its leaders, and for Christian brothers and sisters around the world. As so often happens while praying for persecuted Christians living in global hotspots, a groan came to my lips, “How long, Lord Jesus? How long before you return to make things right on the earth?”
As I prayed that prayer, the thought struck me, do I long for Jesus’ return as much as I long for my husband’s return? While praying for Christ’s return, is there a yearning inside me that says “things in this world don’t feel right and won’t be right until you’re back?”
In contrast to the political strategies of the UN and various coalitions of nations around the world, I believe that only Christ can end the crises in the Middle East – and in Africa, Asia, Russia, the Ukraine, North Korea, Southeast Asia, Europe, South America and North America.
It seems that the world is in an uproar as the enemy of the cross and of God’s people causes humans to clash and fight and destroy one-another. I believe this spiritual enemy is behind the militant factions in the Middle East and elsewhere, no matter what “religious” cause they fight under.
As Jesus said:
John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil. You want to obey your father’s wishes. From the beginning, the devil was a murderer . . .”
ISIS is not the only crisis. The real crises come from the clamber in the hearts of men, the darkness in their minds, the in-bred hatred for opposing ideologies – these inner “devils” create world crises. Nations won’t change, ideologies won’t change, people won’t change until men’s hearts change.
Matt. 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
Ps. 140:1-2 “Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually.”
There is only One who can bring light into dark, war torn places and push out hatred with an overwhelming love.
John 1:4-5 “In him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
No other religion and no other “god” has ever even offered to do the things that our Heavenly Father, the God above all gods, has done for us through His Son, Jesus. And only Jesus’ return to this earth will make things right.
We long for changes in our circumstances, in our health, in our relationships, but do we long for His return? We want world peace – to get along, to live next to people of other nationalities, languages and cultures, without fear. But this will never happen through the United Nations, international unions, peace treaties, or political promises. It will never happen through a one-world government. Because none of those things can change human hearts.
Only total defeat of the real enemy will do the job, and that enemy is a spirit-being, competing with God for world rulership. As the Scriptures tell us, a day of deliverance is coming when all darkness will be driven to the pit of hell, to be destroyed in a lake of fire. This will happen when Christ returns. Meanwhile:
Psalm 42:1 “As the deer longs (pants) for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, oh God.”
Do you have a passionate longing for the return of the Son of God? Or are your passions dissipated with lesser longings: marriage, a family, a successful career, a recognized name, an overflowing bank account?
As for me, I will continue to cry from the deepest passion of my heart, “How long, Lord Jesus, how long must we wait for your return?”
©2015, Marcy Alves