Things can happen so fast. A mother, shopping in a crowded store with her little one, turns away for what seems to be just a moment. When she turns back, her child is gone. A man I know left his little boy in the bathtub for just a moment while he stepped into the other room to get something. When he got back, his son had drowned. A driver looks away from the road for just a moment. When he looks back, he’s ready to crash into the rear end of another vehicle. A woman is going about her daily routine. Everything seems fine. Suddenly, her vision blurs, she becomes dizzy and disoriented. She falls to the floor, helpless. She has suffered a stroke. One moment everything seemed all right. The next moment her life was in jeopardy.
One day I got word that tragedy had struck the family of an old friend of my family. It was the middle of the night. A tornado touched down among a cluster of homes. Two or three were seriously damaged but left basically intact. In another home the husband desperately held onto his wife as the storm threatened to suck her right out of the house. Suddenly, the floor was gone, and together they fell into the crawl space beneath the house. A refrigerator fell in on top of them. As scary as that sounds, they figure that refrigerator may well have saved their lives. Their home was totally destroyed, left in a pile of rubble as though two giant hands had picked up a huge cookie, crumbled it up and dropped it back where it had been.
A short distance away, the double wide mobile home of their daughter and son in law was torn to pieces and scattered over a 1000 yard path. Their daughter, her husband and two young sons were found scattered through the same field as their demolished home. She lay dead. Her youngest son was not expected to live. Her older son and husband suffered various broken bones and internal injuries but were expected to recover. Undoubtedly, that was a normal day in their lives. But in just a relatively few moments their family was torn apart.
That makes me think of the apostle Paul’s words about the final day of judgment- “…but we shall all be changed- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Jesus indicated that the final day of judgment will start out pretty much like any other day. People will go about their normal, daily routines (Matt. 24:36-42). But somewhere along the way, everything will change! In just a moment nothing will be the same. In the time it takes for the proverbial twinkle to cross the eye the normal ongoing of this world will come to an end.
Think about that. Some person will be doing some task at work. Another will be trying to remember some detail she was supposed to attend to that day. Somebody else will be driving down the street, just as he always does. Somebody will be combing her hair. Somebody else will be drinking a glass of water. People will be doing all of the normal things they do every day. Then suddenly, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” the Lord will come, and it will be time to give account for all they had done, and had not done, with their lives.
So much can happen in just a moment. We’d better use the moments that God gives us in wise ways. We’d better live for Him faithfully and serve Him while we have the time, for we do not know at what moment the Lord will come. At that point, we’ll have no more time to get our lives right. “Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
Gary L. Hutchens