"As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, "tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?" Mark 13:3-4 NIV.
As a road dog, I like long walks, long runs, long bike rides and long car drives. There is something exhilarating about being on the open road. Each time you notice something new, see a new face, experience a new thing, walk a new path. The journey can be both exciting and exhausting, charming and challenging. Sometimes you get tired, but you persevere. Sometimes your legs hurt, but you keep on taking the next steps and before you know it, you are nearing home.
As I was nearing the end of the NYC Half Marathon, I started to question my decision to run this race. This 13.1-mile run is not just a test of endurance, but perseverance. Endurance is strength, but perseverance is the will to finish the race. Only the full marathon is more challenging. My legs ached; my legs became heavy. Each step became more laborious than the one before. Under normal circumstances, I may have stopped at 10, 11, 12 miles, and say that's good enough. But good is enough is not finishing. Good enough leaves you short of the finish line, short of your goal. So even though, my legs ached, I could feel the finish line approaching, and soon enough I crossed the line. When you are nearing home, you get a burst of energy, your steps quicken. Your anticipation is awakened, and you push forward toward the finish.
Getting to the finish line takes time. We must persevere over time. Everything happens in time. We wake up on time. We get to work on time. We catch a plane on time. We go to church at a specific time. We take time off for vacation. We spend time with our friends and family. We keep time on our watches. We mark the time of our anniversaries and birthdays, and we remember the time when we fell in love.
While we dwell in time, while we count time, while we record events in time, our God is beyond time. He is not bounded by time; he steps in and around time. (Psalms 90:1-2). God is everlasting, eternal, timeless. Since the fall, since disobedience came into the world, man is no longer abiding in the creator, beyond time (Ge. 3:22), but under time, for a time and limited by time. But God, in His infinite mercy, has not left us to dwell in temporary agony and separation from Him. He has made a way for use to once again be restored to Him, to the fullness of His creation. To dwell in His eternal glory.
In the meantime, He left us His word to guide us into all truth. God's word is inspired. God's word is equipping. God's word is providential. It tells us to be aware for the time is at hand. By His word, we know that there will be a resurrection (1 Thess. 4:16). By His word, we know that one day sin and evil will be no more (Rev.20:10). By His word we know that one day death will be no more (Rev. 21:4). We know that Jesus is Lord, by His word (Matt.3:17). By His Word, we know that He has prepared a place for us (John 14:3). By His Word, we know that He is coming soon (Mark 14:62). Many are confused, many are perplexed, many are asking questions. The more questions we ask, the more questions are raised? Man's wisdom fails to provide the answers that only God can give and has given in His word.
Mark 13 tells us what time it is and lets us know that we are nearing home. It tells is not to be deceived (v.5), when those who claim to teach His word, are not true to His word. His word lets us know that the wars, earthquakes, famines and just signs to let us know that we are nearing home (v.8). His word tells us that our community and even our families will turn their backs on you, simply because you love the Lord (v.9-13). Mark tells us to look for these signs, and more, all around us that tells us we are nearing home. The aches, pains, wars, tribulations, unfaithfulness, anger, hate, natural and natural events are signs that we are nearing home.
When we near the finish line, our legs may get heavy, but out heart beats with anticipation. When we are nearing home, the last mile seems the longest, yet just over the mountain is that promise land. Hold fast till He comes, don't settle for good enough. Good enough will leave you short of the finish line. Persevere until the finish and claim your reward. "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to His works (Matt. 16:27).