“Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come”.
Mk 13:33 NIV
Many diaries in this modern era have a double page section called “Year Planner”. The owner of the diary, supposedly at any rate, sits down early in the new year and fills in various deadlines, events, holidays and proposed projects. It’s a useful exercise. It enables you to avoid clashes and to anticipate deadlines that are coming up. In a way it enables you to pre-programme your year. Some people have a vague idea that God works a similar system – only he has a Century Planner, or a Millennium Planner. This assumes God has got human affairs all mapped out and he presses the appropriate button at the right time and “Hey-Presto” it all just happens. It isn’t anything like that at all. God has made human beings free to act according to their wishes and they all go about doing what they want to. The future isn’t closed. It is open.
This means that there’s a lot of uncertainty. Here Jesus says so. “You do not know when that time will come”. It hasn’t been fixed in advance. The world is unfolding – and human life with it. Nothing is pre-determined. This is why we are cautioned to be on our guard and to remain alert at all times. Not only can we not predict future events with any degree of certainty. We can’t predict how things or people will react to those events that do happen. And because God is sovereign Lord we are called to obey him. And sometimes we do – but sometimes we don’t. So there is further uncertainty.
It takes a lot of faith to see God’s hand – but it is there.
Lord, help me to watch and wait with you.