Urgent. When I hear this word I am naturally compelled to pay close attention or take action. Whether a request, an appointment, or a pressing deadline, urgent implies something requires my full and immediate attention. Burdened with much to do, I catch myself calling almost everything on my to-do list “urgent.” I have used and abused this word if I’m honest. In fact, I once convinced myself that organizing my pantry was so incredibly imperative that I walked away from a much more pertinent project. Have you ever felt walls caving in upon you, as you strived to complete a task, which ultimately could have waited?
Living intentionally is more important to me as God has revealed my addiction to urgency. Living rushed, hurried, busy, or frantic is not how God created us to live. He created us for purpose. In fact, He created us on purpose that we would know Him, love Him and share Him with others. Over the past 13 years, I have watched God slowly take what used to be an overwhelming need to please others, and turn it into a deep desire to please Him and teach others about Him. When I talk about Jesus to those who don’t know Him yet, the critical need to share the gospel wells up in me.
Just as being prepared for an urgent task can seem crucial to us, Jesus explains why we should not only be prepared for the end of days, but also, aware of the signs He foretold. In the parable known as the Lesson of the Fig Tree, Jesus tells us very clearly how important it is to pay attention to His word, for it is unfailing. Let’s look at the scripture found in Matthew 24:
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:32-35 ESV)
In only four verses Jesus gives us an essential teaching. We know the signs of seasons changing every year — spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, and back again. As new buds bloom on the trees, here comes spring and summer. As leaves begin to fall, and pumpkin spice becomes the taste we long for, we predict fall approaching.
We prepare for each new season in different ways. Shopping for new clothes, putting away the flowerpots and hoses, no grass to mow, and decorating for holidays; all of these indicate the changing seasons. But being ready for a season isn’t as urgent or important as being ready for the coming of Jesus — is it? Yet, maybe we don’t read or study enough about the signs Jesus teaches. Perhaps we aren’t taking our responsibility to share Him with others seriously. Why do I find time to complete tasks that only matter today while I waste the precious moments I could be helping others seek God’s kingdom?
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)
Scripture explains what God wanted us to know about watching and waiting for the second coming of Christ Jesus. Do you believe He is coming again? If so, are you personally aware of what to be watchful for? My husband is always studying the “hard” stuff and I prefer the scriptures, which help me live day to day. Neither is incorrect but both are important. We need to read and pray to understand the best we can. Holy Spirit help us to desire to know the signs so that when the time arrives we will be ready!
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:42,44 ESV)
In this parable Jesus says, “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” If we are the generation living in the end days, none shall pass until all the prophecy is reality. How can we be watchful, as Jesus instructs us, if we don’t know what to watch for? Let us be women who find the urgency and desire to read and understand the word of God. Our minds shall remain focused first on His kingdom; our to-do list can wait.
Holding Fast to Hope,