Friday, November 13, 2009

Ready Or Not, Here I Come!

“Behold, I am coming soon!”

Revelation 22:7

Perhaps the most common game we played as children, and one our children continue to play, was Hide and Seek. One person would be chosen as “it”. He would close his eyes as others ran and hid, count to a predetermined number, then holler, “Ready or not, here I come!” Everyone had to make it safely back to “base” without being “tagged” or they were out of the game. The play continued until all players were in, then another was chosen as “it”.

I love watching my grandchildren play this game, especially the little ones. Their perception of the environment surrounding them is so much different than ours, for they are apt to believe a leafless shrub or a skinny tree trunk will hid them from view. Their concept of time has also not been fully developed and as the others have found their place to hide, they are still scurrying around looking for a good spot. Sometimes they huddle next to one of the older kids - much to their frustration. But the biggest giveaway, and the one that gives me the greatest pleasure, is their giggling that refuses to be contained and bubbles up from their toes, spilling out into the sunshine. It is a sound I will always cherish.

I recently came to believe that Hide and Seek must be an international children’s game. In one of their newsletters, Voice of the Martyrs told the story of Indonesian children who wear T-shirts with the phrase, “Ready or not, Jesus will come. I am ready. What about you?” imprinted on them. To these children, there is a broader and more important message behind a simple game of Hide and Seek. They have chosen to use it as a means to reach the hearts of their countrymen. With wisdom defying their age, they understand that men attempt to hide their sin from the Seeker Jesus Christ. But the difference between the childish game and the reality of life is even more evident in that they also know there is never a hiding place He can not find. (Rev. 6:15-17)

In a nation that is predominately Muslim, and one that is increasingly persecuting Christians, the boldness and courage of these children leaves me in awe. If our own nation had sunk to the level of Indonesia and their lack of religious tolerance, would we, as parents, put our children in harms way by having them don such a message? As disturbing as the answer seems, I can honestly say most would not. But Christians in places such as Indonesia understand that to be afraid and silent bears no fruit, and to do nothing will not further God’s kingdom.

The message these children bring to the mean streets of their nation is that our Lord could return at any moment. It is a question of readiness, one that asks, “Are you prepared to meet your God because ready or not, Jesus WILL come.” They know it is not a game. It is a reality. It is also an invitation to ask them about the message’s meaning which, I am sure, every one of them is joyfully prepared to give. They understand the futility behind “hiding” and are equipped to point the way to “base” where their Seeker, their Savior, will be waiting with laughter and open arms.

There will be a time, one that I believe is coming soon, when the game of Hide and Seek men are playing with God will end. Although it defies the rules of the childhood game we played, the only way to win is to allow the Seeker to find you and claim you as His own. There is no loss by doing so. What awaits you is a great and eternal reward and a crown of victory placed upon your head.

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life…
He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:17, 20-21)

I am ready. What about you?