Last summer, our family took a trip that included Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming, USA. We learned that the park is situated over a dome of lava near the surface of the earth that creates a "hot spot" that fuels a huge number of geothermal features, such as geysers, boiling mud pots, and hot springs in great abundance.
The Old Faithful geyser is one of the most predictable geographical features on earth, erupting every 35 to 120 minutes to an average height of 44 metres (145 feet). Eighty years ago, its eruptions used to average 65 minutes apart, but the interval has slowly increased to an average of 91 minutes today, with a variation of plus or minus ten minutes.
On the day that we arrived, the next eruption was scheduled to occur at 1:30 p.m., "plus or minus ten minutes". At the appointed hour, the crowds gathered to watch. 1:30 passed, then 1:40. At 1:45, there was a brief, perfunctory blast, and then, nothing. We waited another five minutes, and then gave up. "I guess that was it," we said. Some of our party waited longer, and then, as they were leaving at 2:00, they heard the eruption starting behind them — at the maximum of 120 minutes.
This immediately reminded me of the scoffing predicted in Scripture on the part of those who were waiting in vain for the Lord to return, as He had promised:
2 Peter 3:3-4 – Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (NKJV)
It is true that some have falsely predicted exact dates for His return, but Jesus clearly said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13:32 NKJV)
It seems that, like the delay in Old Faithful's eruption, Jesus' delay in returning is a test of whether or not we are willing to trust in the sureness of His promise to return. Are we willing to live as if His return could happen at any moment?
Luke 12:42-44 – And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has." (NKJV)
Prayer: Lord, it can be discouraging to see what is happening to Your world, and we may wish that You would come soon to put an end to it all, but You have chosen Your own time for that to happen. You have given each of us certain responsibilities to execute with faithfulness and integrity in the meantime. May we live in obedience to your will. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Lord I'm Coming Home" (Lyrics)