“Be ready, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of man is coming.”
Jesus, in Matthew 24:44
One day about forty years ago, brother Earl Pittman and I were traveling in his truck to visit some of the saints we knew. We did this often and enjoyed it. This day as we rode along, we were singing songs, praising God, and talking excitedly about the things of the Spirit when, all of a sudden, the Spirit fell on me and I heard myself say, “We’re going to have a visitor from the Lord tomorrow!” We were both surprised, but pleased, and since there was nothing to do about it then, we continued our trip toward ours friends’ houses.
At that time, I was living in a very old and run-down house we had purchased. Every day, it seemed, I worked on that house to rescue it from the grave. The day after my trip with Earl to see our friends, I was working to patch the floor where I had torn out a crumbling fireplace. I worked through the morning, and in the afternoon, I heard that “still, small voice” several times tell me, “It’s time to stop now.” But I pushed on. There was a lot to do.
Finally, late in the afternoon, I put my tools down and went to get cleaned up. As I was getting out of the shower, I heard a knock at the front door. I remembered what I had said the day before. “The visitor from the Lord!” I thought, and rushed to get dry and dressed. I rushed to the front door. No one was there. I ran out to the sidewalk in front of our house and looked in both directions. No one. “How could he have gotten away so fast?” I wondered. It didn’t strike me until I was writing this line that I didn’t think to look up. That is where the visitor had come from. As it was, I stood there, feeling very bad. Why had I not listened to the tender voice of Jesus, telling me it was time to stop working on that old house?
There is an old hymn that exhorts us to “take time to be holy.” We all have projects to finish and responsibilities to meet. But when God offers us a blessing, we would be wise to make time for it. Jesus said that the cares of this life can choke out the word of God in our lives, that is, earthly responsibilities can rob us of blessings we would receive if we only made time in our busy schedules for Jesus. Be wise. Attending to important things, necessary things in this world, can rob us of blessings the Lord sends our way, blessings received only by those who have put their tools down and are waiting on the Lord.