I won’t deny it. For the past few weeks or more, I’ve been looking out for news on Covid-19 restrictions being eased.
After more than 6 months of living with restrictions, I’ve been waiting for announcements that church services will be allowed to resume at a larger scale, friends and families will be able to meet up in bigger groups, and people to take part in mass events.
While I know these restrictions have been necessary for our battle against the coronavirus, I’ve been hoping for signs that we can go back to some old routines, even if it means operating under the “new normal”.
It was only this week that I realised how important this news was to me, when I felt especially heartened by the latest reports of plans for “Phase 3” and easing of restrictions on gatherings. “Yay! Finally, true freedom!” I exclaimed to my wife.
A colleague, citing the same news, quipped: “Probably looking forward to this more than Christ’s return?”
In that moment, I felt a tinge of guilt. It struck me then: Do I look forward to Christ’s return with the same earnestness?
The first followers of Christ were always waiting for His second coming. Jesus’ disciples missed Him dearly, and couldn’t wait to see Him again. They also knew that when Jesus returned, He would herald the end of this world, when all kingdoms would come to recognise the Saviour’s rule, and all believers would be with God forever (Matthew 24:30–31).
For some of us who have been suffering in this life, this day of ultimate deliverance brings hope, too. It is the day when we will be finally free of the weak, human body which is susceptible to sin and which hinders our walk with God, and free of the troubles of the world (Revelation 21:1–4).
My feelings about the Covid-19 restrictions, and my wait for “good news”, are a stark reminder to me about what I should be really looking forward to—and how I should be preparing for the most important Day (and not just freedom from Covid-19 restrictions). Paul says in Philippians 2:12–13:
Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you to will and to act
in order to fulfill his good purpose.
And so, I’ve been challenged to ask myself these questions: What am I really waiting for? Have I been so overwhelmed by life around me, that I’ve forgotten my true destiny in Christ? How should I “work out my salvation” so as to prepare for Jesus’ return?
Perhaps you may ask them of yourself, too. May we never forget the true essence of the good news—that Jesus died and rose that we may be forgiven, and that He will come again, so that we will be reunited with God forever. —Leslie Koh
Lord, may I look forward to Your return
with the greatest earnestness.
May I not be distracted
by the attractions of the world,
but stay focused on my walk with You,
that I may be found pleasing in Your sight
when You return.