We had an associate pastor give Sunday’s message since our Pastor is in Israel this week. It was excellent- “What a Difference a Day Makes”.
I can’t even begin to write out the sermon here, but I did want to bring up a few points because it’s so encouraging and really makes one think. I thought it would make a good devotional for today.
Think about how much can change in a day, whether personally, positive, negative or earth shattering.
While on December 7, 1941 some people knew it could happen, but on that quiet Sunday morning, most people were just beginning to go about their routines unaware that their lives, their country and their world would change in a matter of hours. Hundreds of Japanese planes soon struck Pearl Harbor. By the end of the day, thousands were dead, and many realized then that the US would be going to war.
More of us remember a beautiful, warm sunny September morning in 2001. The day began as always for busy workers at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in DC and hundreds of people boarding ordinary flights for various destinations from the east coast. It doesn’t require imagination to think of how much our country and world changed after that day. From everything from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the way our country goes about airport security… simple things such as baby bottles, shoes, bottles of water are checked along with body scanners and finger print ID- to requiring a passport to go to Canada.
I remember a pretty day waking up on November 22, 2014. Within an hour, I was calling an ambulance, then telling my unconscious husband he’d be OK as they wheeled loaded him for the hospital. I never saw him alive again. He was gone by the time they got there, before my son and I got there 20 minutes later.
There are personal and national tragedies which can shake us, tear us and stomp on us, often times in the course of a 24 hour period.
And then there are earth shaking events, which have hundreds and thousands of years of consequences.
Imagine being in the most perfect garden ever created, surrounded by animals who are tame, every kind of fruit and edible plant to sustain you, and waking up every morning in literal paradise. By evening, you are hidden from your creator because your eyes were open to the sin you committed and banished from the garden. We’ve felt the effects of that for thousands of years and it’s still going on.
Now imagine you wake up in Jerusalem during the Passover. The city is bustling with pilgrims from all nations. You are soon gathered with a group of believers when all of a sudden a wind comes through the open windows and tongues of fire light on your shoulder- you begin speaking languages you’ve never spoken or heard, but you go out and people from other nations understand the gospel message you are saying. The Day of Pentecost was a life changing event for not only those first Christians, but have been bringing people to the Lord for the past 2000 years.
Do you think Saul had any idea as he set out for Damascus that he’d be blinded and a believer in Christ by the end of the day?
What a difference a day makes.
Now think about waking up one day, beginning your day as always and suddenly you hear a trumpet call- and in the twinkling of an eye instant, you are in the presence of Jesus. Can you imagine that day?
I can’t really imagine it, but I am looking forward to it. It’s a large part of what keeps me going every day. I don’t know when it will be, if it will even be in my lifetime- but much like Abraham who followed after a promise that wasn’t completed in this world, I follow after the promise too.
One of my favorite parts of the Bible is the Book of Hebrews, the Hall of Faith. It’s an excellent reminder of the promises we follow after, and that even if they don’t come in this life, we know it will be fulfilled in the next. There is so much encouragement in that and it makes the journey worth traveling no matter how hard the road.
Think about how many events in your life that came unexpectedly in a day- the good things and the bad, and then think about how so many days have changed the world and how some day, the biggest change of all- when we are face to face with the one who loves us more than anything.
That’s a day worth waiting for no matter when it comes.
Be blessed and live today as if you know He’s coming today. It just may change how the daily problems don’t matter quite as much, and make it easier to get through.