“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming…and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is, and everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (I John 2:28, 3:2b-3)
I once described my job in a hazardous coffin-like building on the graveyard shift. I will not include the details here, but take my word – it was not meant for the faint-hearted. The word “dawn” took on a whole new grand meaning to us. What a soothing word it became on the long night watches. Have you ever waited for that glimmer of gray on the eastern horizon? The first part of the night we kept an eye on the clock. Eventually, we would begin glancing out the windows that faced east. Even in the midst of our duties we always kept an eye on the sky. It promised our deliverance. It provided our hope.
In fact, that horrible job taught some useful lessons about hope, and faith, and love. It seemed the men either turned to God or vice to deal with the stress-filled position. For those who chose the former we learned a great deal about walking by faith and trusting God. We also learned something about selfless love as well. We all understood and accepted that if there were an accident, we would not leave alone. We would come out together or not at all. And we learned to feed on the sustenance of hope, the surety of dawn, and the passing of the graveyard shift.
Life on this mine field called earth is often hazardous and heavy laden. It compels us to look for that glimmer of gray on the eastern horizon. Mankind was not made for dark nights and coffins. No, we were made for perpetual light and everlasting life.
“Even in the midst of our duties, we always kept an eye on the sky.” Throughout history, the Church has been most effective when it has lived that sentence out. When we have been balanced with one hand reaching into a dying world and the other into His lofty realm. When we have looked with one eye upon earth’s golden harvest fields and the other eye on the golden streets of heaven. When we are working the works, He has prepared beforehand for us to do , while “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
Are we doing business until He comes? (Ref. Luke 19:13) Are we eagerly waiting for Him to come again? (Ref. Hebrews 9:28) Are we moved by this assured hope to purify ourselves? Are we living in unceasing anticipation that “we shall be like Him?”
Jesus Christ declares, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Are we responding – “Amen, Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
May we always live out this sentence: “Even in the midst of our duties, we always kept an eye on the sky.”
 Ref. Ephesians 2:10