As I was reflecting on the start of Advent and the anticipation of awaiting the coming Messiah it occurred to me that in both Jesus’ first coming and His second God gave the people the what (Messiah is coming) and the where (Bethlehem) but rarely the when.
When the magi spoke with Herod that they were searching for the new born king of the Jews, Herod finally had the “when” and sent his expert scholars in search of the where. They found their answer in Micah 5 – Bethlehem in Judea.
The same is true of Jesus’ second coming. He will come on the clouds. There will be a great trumpet call. The dead will rise, etc…but we just don’t know when.
Why doesn’t God tell us when certain things will happen? Because God knows our nature. He knows we will not get serious until it is time. Faith is strengthened in the waiting. Hope is magnified in the patient person anticipating the certain outcome of God making good on His promises.
God rarely tells us when…and that is for our own good!
How would you live your life if you knew the time when you would die in advance? It is in the anticipation and the waiting that the love and the hope and the faith all grow into maturity.