After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 NIV
I spent a lot of time staring at the clouds and blue sky yesterday. My youngest daughter decided to jump out of a little plane 14,000 feet above our planet. She jumped tandem with an “A” certified jumper. They stayed in free fall position, had a picture with a videographer, pulled the shoot, swirled around and finally came to a beautiful soft landing. She compared it to the thrill of a lifetime. My response? “I wonder how it is going to feel when we fly “up” to meet Jesus in the clouds?”
I had not been thinking about Jesus’ return before that statement. Well, actually we had a slight pain in the neck from looking straight up watching other jumpers. I also looked eagerly across the sky waiting for Melody’s plane to appear so that I could catch the first glimpse of her parachute. During that looking up time, I thought of the disciples who stood looking as Jesus disappeared. The angels said to them that Jesus would return in the same way that they saw Him rise. They were staring at the clouds and the sky wondering and waiting for His return.
I am not sure when Jesus is going to return. I know that today is one more day closer than yesterday. I know that there are still lost people that could turn their hearts to Christ if we would share the good news with them. I know that eternity with Christ and without Christ are two very different existences. I know that God wants us to have the same compassion for others who are not yet His children as Jesus experienced when He looked at the crowds and saw them as sheep without a shepherd.
The encouragement that Paul referred to at the end of this chapter was for reunification with those believers who had already died. They will appear with Jesus. We who are still on the earth will join our family members, who became children of God and have already passed away, and join with Jesus to remain with Him forever.
All of God’s promises will come true. The next time you look at the sky and clouds, remember His return. Let’s be found faithful when that Day happens. It will have all of the joy of a “happy suddenly”.
Blessings Love y’all