Have you ever heard somebody say something and their words just stuck in your mind? Maybe the words were negative and no matter how hard you try you just cannot forget. Maybe the words were positive, and those words give you confidence each and every day. Most of us can remember words or phrases that someone once said to us and they have forevermore been engraved into our minds. Recently, my son Joshua said something to me that I do not believe I will ever forget.
Now before I tell you what he said I need to tell you a little about him. Joshua is sweet and tender-hearted. He feels things with his entire being. He can be silly like any other kid but when he speaks you can instantly tell he his speaking from his heart. He is also our child that requires absolute order. All of his action figures must be in a perfect line and I am sure if they had names that they would probably be alphabetized or maybe just sorted by height. He likes systems and routines. So, every morning as I prepare to leave for work, we have the exact same routine. After I tell everybody bye and that I love them, Joshua immediately runs to the door. He wants to be the one that opens the door and says the final goodbye of the morning. When this first started it was just “Bye, I love you.” But a couple of weeks ago he started saying something that I will never forget. As he closes the door, the last thing he says is “Come back”. The first few times he said it just cut me to the heart. The meaning of those two words is just so deep and it really got me thinking.
Here is my son speaking from his heart and definitely saying what he wants to happen and possibly saying what he fears might not happen. But why does he say it? Well, my hope as a father is because he loves me and that it is just what he wants to happen. I do not want fear to rule his life. But there is a reality in life, we do not know when our last moments on this earth will be. James 4:14 says, “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” So, the words “Come back” can help us to think about that reality and cherish what we have at this very moment.
But these words can also help us think about another reality. Since there is an unknown amount of time left in this earth and there is not one soul that knows when their time will come, how important should evangelism and seeking the lost be to us as Christians? We say we love Jesus, and I believe many do. But if we loved Him would we not keep His commandments? (John 14:15). If we say we love Him that means we love other people, right? We are to love souls. If there is someone that has never heard the gospel then we are to love them enough to teach them the truth. If there is someone who has fallen away, we are to love them enough to seek them out and help them to be restored to God and His people. The words, “Come back”, in this context should come from the loving heart of a brother or sister in Christ that desperately desires for their brother or their sister to come back to God and His Church.
You see, one day Jesus is going to come back. That’s what He promised us. (John 14:1-3). When He comes back, He is going to take those that are faithful to live with Him forever. Until that time, we have to keep on preparing. We have to live a life like the apostle Paul when in Philippians 1:21 he wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” As we are living here on this earth, we are to continually live for Him. Always looking forward to the day when our Savior comes to take us home. Until that day, in our heart’s desire for His return, we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20).