Last Days

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The children shivered with fright inside a make-shift shelter.  With each deafening explosion that rocked the flimsy shack they were in, they gripped their arms more firmly around their parents – for those who still had even one around.  The nights were especially dreadful.  Blinding darkness covered the entire snow-covered landscape.  The entire country, perhaps even the whole world, was bereft of heat.  Destitute outbursts of helpless screaming echoed intermittently between whispers of prayer.

In the dark corner of the shed, lit only by flashes of light from blasts of angry ammunitions in the distance, a father cowers in fear but desperately nestles his wife and three young children around him.  In the midst of trembling voices that paraded the prayers throughout that night, the father resolutely closed his eyes yet tears running down his cheeks; he uttered this silent prayer, “Dear Lord, the deliverance we are praying for may not come tonight or may not come at all, but we know that our ultimate liberation away from this unexplainable chaos is near.  We’ll see you soon.”  Suddenly, a violently prolonged blast erupts nearby instilling a deadening silence in that place where prayers where once heard and where a shack used to stand.

Visions of what it would be like in the last days are horrific.  I imagine it only to remind me how important it is that we recognize the need for salvation in the present. I cannot endure those images for long, can you?  Surrender your life now to Jesus who offers you salvation with a promise that you need not be in that shelter (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).

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