How Long? Not Long
By: Michelle Higgins
The King is coming and His kingdom is near. This has impact on how we see and interact with our world. When children are brought or born into our families, we know them as fully human already, not yet all they will be. Love for our squad is deep and sacrificial right now, but sometimes friendship grows into lifelong covenants we could never foresee.
One mystery of Christian hope is that sometimes what we long for has already happened. The advent of the Messiah happened thousands of years ago, but we celebrate and experience the earth’s preparations for Him still. Jesus’ work on the cross is complete, yet full restoration has not come. The mysterious nature of this divine anticipation is reflected in the mysterious ways in which we see God.
The uncontrollable nature of the living God leads to experiences we cannot always explain or understand. The incarnation and the sending of the Holy Spirit comforts those of us questioning whether or not our mysterious experiences of God are real. Right now, wherever you are, He is near to you.
Let’s take some time today to meditate on The Word together. Read Acts 17: 24-34 and Psalm 13
Though God’s presence is here, it can seem that He is far away. Beloved sisters, let this season remind you that your longing for The Presence already near to you is itself an experience of Him. You are not “missing out” on His presence, there is no such thing as being “far from God” in your spiritual life. Your ache for Him, even your feeling of distance, is proof of His beckoning to you. You can feel that the King is coming because the Kingdom is near. This is because God is already omnipresent while the fullness of His presence is not yet here.
Our faith is not yet sight, but it is already the substance and evidence of the long hoped for, the wondrous unseen. When we see the King, we will know a satisfaction deeper than can be described. But while we wait- while we do not see Him - we are comforted and nurtured by His precious Spirit.
Fully God, the director and protector of the body of Christ, The Holy Spirit is the Helper who assures us of God’s presence, even in times of mystery, longing, and pain. We feel that in our history, we fear it for our futures. Sis, I often wake and cannot shake that Diasporic dissonance that makes me weep for deeper connection to our motherland, wondering “can I really know who I am?”. I can’t meet my babies eyes when they ask me why the current President doesn’t get in trouble when he bullies people. I feel far… I need evidence. So the Lord gives us a refrain: “I am coming”.
The King is coming. This is my surest, only hope.
The Spirit is inviting all of us to know God’s nearness, even in the spiritual dissonance Paul preached about. We might come to the table like our sister Damaris today, spending time in a season of “seeking God, perhaps feeling our way towards him”. The Spirit’s witness to us is that there is no “feeling our way” towards the God who is everywhere. We are awaiting our Lord’s appearance, knowing that God is already here, and yet to return. God anticipates and answers this longing by saying He is already here, or that He is coming soon.
Call and Response Prayer:
This prayer is written for friends to share together. One person speaks the petition, another responds in Jesus’ words. When praying alone, read the response of “Person 2” as Jesus’ reply to your prayer.
Person 1: God we know that you have left us your Spirit, but often our oppressors are the ones who flourish on earth. We need your power to continue to do your will. We need your Spirit to remind us that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Person 2:“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
Person 1: God we are often the forgotten ones. Our rulers on earth do not have us in mind. It is so hard to love when we are unnoticed. To whom do we look for the strength to love our enemies?
Person 2: “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Person 1: Oh Lord, You are the One that we desire. We believe that you are here but how long until we see your full presence? How long until we are met with your sweet embrace? Will it truly be not long?
Person 2: He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Both: Amen. Come, King Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
(From Revelation 22:7, 12-13, 20)