Send your bread on the surface of the waters, for after many days you may find it. Give a portion to seven or even to eight, for you don’t know what disaster may happen on earth. If the clouds are full, they will pour out rain on the earth; whether a tree falls to the south or the north, the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap. Just as you don’t know the path of the wind, or how bones [develop] in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you don’t know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good. Eccl 11:1-6 (HCSB)
Just as the angels of the Lord counseled the disciples in Jerusalem on the day our Lord ascended into heaven after His crucifixion and resurrection, we too cannot stand idle waiting for what is promised to happen someday. Just because something will happen in the future does not mean it will happen in the present! We must continue to live in expectation, but not anticipation! We cannot give up living in the present based upon what we believe will happen in the future. Because, what we do in the now has a bearing upon what will happen in the future.
God was very clear that He has chosen to use mankind to prepare and build His kingdom on earth until He chooses the time for bringing His kingdoms of heaven and earth together as one Kingdom. However, He patiently perseveres with mankind’s distractions and delays for action not because of those who are hesitating and struggling to act as He wishes, but for those who will benefit from the action and respond to His calling upon them to join His kingdom. God’s patience is for all who have yet to hear and respond to God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word.
For the many disciples who struggle in their obedience to God’s Word; Gods forbearance is not for their benefit but for those needing to hear and respond. We all will be judged someday for how we have responded or failed to respond to God’s Word. None of us have responded perfectly, yet God has worked through our shortcomings to grow His kingdom purposes. To be more obedient and responsive, we need to quit looking for the signs that will tell us His time is near. Too many of us are religious procrastinators – many are eagerly anticipating the arrival signs so that then we will scramble to do what we should already be doing when He comes. In the meantime, we are sitting, staring, and secretly hoping that His arrival will not come for another day. Those who beg for the Lord’s return are those who are tired of waiting to act, rather than being obedient to the Lord in the present. Those who are obedient have been living in expectation but not anticipation. They live life each day with a purpose, and seek to grow daily in God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word, because not only is God pleased when we do, others may be watching us and their heart yearns to be filled with what we have.
Do we need to understand all the signs? No! And, all I know myself is that God has the future in His hands, the past is behind me and thankfully God’s forgiveness has allowed me to move out of the past. Thus, I know all I can be held accountable for is the present. If the dark clouds let loose its rain, so be it. If the wind howls, I do not care to understand from where it came, just how to deal with it. And, I praise God for babies being born without trying to understand the miracle of creation beyond what God allows me to comprehend. Each day I pray to plant a seed and do my part to see it develop and prosper to the benefit of God and His Kingdom. Am I perfect? Absolutely not! But I am being made perfect by His grace. How about you?
So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, at this time are You restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.” Acts 1:6-11 (HCSB)