And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good will toward men!” (Luke 2:13-14)
Have you ever noticed that the Bible is a book of “suddenlies”? In Luke 2 we find a band of obscure shepherds, watching their flock during the night and not expecting anything miraculous or even unusual to happen. And then—suddenly—a heavenly host of angels appears to them and announces the birth of their long-awaited Messiah. Not only that, but they are told how to find Him. What a privilege!
Though this appearance of angels was completely unexpected by the shepherds, the coming of the Messiah was not. All faithful Jews had long awaited the fulfillment of God’s promise of the coming of the Anointed One. No doubt there were times throughout the rocky history of the Jewish nation that people did battle with doubts; some even succumbed to them and stopped believing. How tragic! For some, that point of disconnect with God’s promise may have come on the very eve of His appearing.
Not much has changed, has it? The Messiah came 2,000 years ago, and He promised to return. And so we wait, as both worldwide and personal dangers and difficulties threaten to overwhelm us and diffuse our faith. Can you relate?
• Are you or someone you love battling a seemingly hopeless disease?
• Has a relationship self-destructed, bringing unbearable pain?
• Have financial plans fallen apart, leaving you on the verge of homelessness?
• Have long-held dreams evaporated in the smoke of a harsh reality?
Nearly every one of us can relate somewhere on that list, can’t we? And yet…there is a “suddenly” on our horizon. It may not be the one we’re expecting, but if it’s from God, it’s even better! No doubt those shepherds were in need of some personal “suddenlies” in their own lives, but never did they dream of a suddenly so amazing or glorious as the appearing of angels and the announcement of the birth of the Messiah! When that suddenly-of-all-suddenlies became a reality, all other hoped-for “suddenlies” faded into obscurity. The shepherds had been blessed with the greatest suddenly of all time!
And yet that stunning suddenly will be equaled by another when our Savior returns at last. Will we still be here to greet Him? I don’t know, though I do know that whether He comes for us corporately or individually, it will be the most joyous time imaginable. And at that point, all else will be washed away in never-ending rejoicing and celebration.
If you are in need of a suddenly in your life, don’t stop praying or believing for God to bring it to pass…but remember how trivial it will seem in light of the suddenly of His return. Keep looking up, dear ones, for our redemption draws near!