Christ’s Return and What We Believe

May 25, 2011 | 36 comments

We’re parked at the end of our country lane, the girls and I. The engine idles as we wait for yellow bus #44 to make its last stop of the school year here on this farm.

The girls are clutching lilacs, plucked gifts for favorite teachers. We all feel alive with the hope of a brand new day — this last day of school — and the oldest girl says she’s glad it’s not over yet. 

“School?” I ask, surprised.

“No,” she says. “The world. I’m glad the world didn’t end yet. That kind of freaked me out.”

She heard the news about Harold Camping and his doomsday predictions that Judgment Day would come May 21. That was four days ago, but here we are — still tethered to this celestial ball, parked at the end of a driveway and breathing in the intoxicating aroma of lilacs and spring.

No one knows the day or the hour,” I tell the girls. “Not even Jesus. Only the Father knows.”

Lydia says she knows why Harold Camping made his prediction. “He just wanted to get famous. And now he says it’s October 21 so he can get more famous.”

Maybe,  I shrug. I don’t know Mr. Camping’s motives. But I do know a teaching moment when I see one. I tell the girls that this is a good reminder to be watchful and to treat each day as a gift from God and as an opportunity to do things for His glory.

Lydia chimes in again, saying that the difference between Earth and Heaven will be like Dorothy moving from black-and-white Kansas to technicolor Munchkinland. She says there will be colors we don’t even know exist, and I think she’s right.

We look down the road, through the morning drizzle, for the bus to come cresting over the hill.

We wait.

I don’t tell the girls what I’m thinking as we sit at the end of the driveway.  I’m thinking this: I used to live life afraid.

I used to be scared of the end of the world. I liked the comfort of my black-and-white Kansas-esque life. I was annoyed when people prayed for His return, because I thought people who prayed that kind of thing were downright kooky.

But these days? I’ll be thrilled to watch my Savior return. Go ahead. Call my kooky. I can take it.

And really, it does sounds crazy. My whole faith sounds crazy. God decides to comes to Earth as a baby, born to a virgin. He’s birthed in a barn. He lives like a homeless transient, makes friends with outcasts. He assembles a ragtag group of followers, most of whom abandon him when things get rough. Then he willingly dies on an executioner’s cross to save us from our sins. Three days later, despite a most horrific death, Jesus rises in bodily form, walks the Earth for a few weeks, and then rises up to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God.

Do I really believe all that? Me, a woman who has a college degree, who graduated with Honors, who has the ability to scientically reason and separate logic from fairy tale?

You better believe, I believe it. I’m staking my whole life on it.

Let me say it here in really big letters: I believe.

And I don’t know the hour. But I do know the Savior. Call me a fool, if you want, but I’ll be a fool for Christ any day. And it’s changing how I live every day — including this day, where you see me and the girls at the end of the driveway.

And yeah, I know it might sound crazy. But I believe that someday He’s coming for me. I don’t just believe. I know.

We watch. We wait. Yellow bus #44 comes up over the hill, just like we knew it would.

Ann Voskamp invites us to write about how we’re living life in the Light of the Resurrection. Me? I’m living it for His glory, until He comes again.

by | May 25, 2011 | 36 comments


  1. Lisa

    I love what your daughter says about colors we don’t even know exist. I agree! I’m kooky too and can’t wait for Jesus to come back for us!!!

    • dukeslee

      Hi Lisa! I wonder how I’ll react when He comes again. Will I sing, dance, laugh, cry, fall to my knees … faint? Won’t it be somethin’? Just imagine it…

  2. Lyla Lindquist

    You better believe I’ll call you a fool. I’ll do you one better. I’ll call you a wretched fool. Or a foolish wretch. Do you like one better than the other? 😉

    ‘Course, I’m also sitting here mumbling Michael Card’s words to myself:

    So we follow God’s own fool
    For only the foolish can tell
    Believe the unbelievable
    Come be a fool as well

    Be as foolish as you need to, my friend.

    • dukeslee

      Takes one to know one, Ms. Lyla. 🙂

      I love the absurdly BEAUTIFUL truth of our faith — a faith that saved a wretch like me!

  3. Nancy

    Yes, and amen! I used to live life afraid of Jesus coming back. Now I’m looking forward to all things being made new–especially the lilacs that will never stop blooming. Call me as crazy as you!

  4. Tony C

    An excellent teaching moment indeed. Fear is replaced by Hope for the true believer…a Hope only Jesus can provide.

    Bless you Jen.

    • dukeslee

      Thanks Tony. These teaching moments come up, and sometimes I worry I’m gonna blow it. Usually, it seems, it’s a complete reversal, and my kids end up teaching ME the lessons. I’ve learned to become a good student. 🙂

  5. Julie

    I believe…..

    I remember being afraid too…..being uncertain of that which I do not see. So thankful He is patient to walk through those times with us.

    I love your whole sounding crazy thing….if you ever get some time check out No Argument for God by John Wilkinson. He is one of the pastors at our church and he did an amazing sermon on Faith vs Reason. This is the link to part 1 but you have to watch part 2 and 3 for it to all come together.

    Human reason is just as crazy…. 🙂

    Love this post, love you and I hope your feeling better!


    • dukeslee

      Hi Julie! Thank you for the Wilkinson link. I will watch it. Love you, too, friend. And I am feeling lots better! xoxo

  6. Julie

    sorry…just wanted to mention that the links to Part 2 and three are off to the right on the You-tube page 🙂

    • dukeslee

      Julie, I watched Part I of Wilkinson’s “Crazy” sermon. That is IT! I love the question he asks: “Are you OK with a faith that doesn’t make sense?”

      Thank you for directing me to this resource. Shake the hand of Mr. Wilkinson for me, would you? I’m grateful for this message.

  7. Ruth

    I was at the grocery store Monday and this story was still the buzz! The check out clerk said, “Do you think it happened?”

    I said, “Nope. I’m still here!”

    This is a great opportunity to tell the world that God has given them time to get ready for His Son! By the way, Oct. 21 is my birthday. LOL Now that would be some present! 🙂

    • dukeslee

      Ruth! A great response. I hope you have a blessed birthday on Oct. 21 — no matter WHAT shakes down. 🙂 … Thanks for sharing your words here today.

  8. Jessica

    Oh I can’t wait. To step out of that house and into OZ… where He is more beautiful and what surrounds us is even deeper then anything we could ever imagine. Where everything that groans now is finally fulfilled and complete. I can’t wait.

    I believe.

    • dukeslee

      Jessica ~ And NO FLYING MONKEYS!

      Indeed, there’s no place like Home. There’s no place like Home. There’s no place like Home.

  9. Keri @ Pop Parables

    I used to be really afraid, too! But, Christ’s return is something we should look forward to in hopeful anticipation. His return means so much more then judgement. It means redemption, resurrection and reconciliation. I can’t wait!

    p.s. Duane sent me here, and I likey! 🙂

    • dukeslee

      Hi Keri! Welcome to Getting Down With Jesus. I’m glad you dropped by. I like your Three Rs. 🙂

  10. Missie

    So true…only God knows. This man is driving me crazy and even more so the people he is decieving.

  11. Lori

    All I can say is……YES YES YES, even so come Lord Jesus! What a wonderful post. Your girls are so blessed to have you! Lori

  12. David Rupert

    I believe too. Call me silly and knieve and dumb. But I’m with see.

    See you there…or in the air!

  13. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    Love the analogy with the bus. I’m a fool for believing right along with you. We joked at my house that if he was right, that’d be just fine. Then, we wouldn’t have to water the grass.

  14. Gordon Atkinson

    I’ve decided that I don’t have enough energy or time to think much about the end of the world. I love the parable from Luke 12 about the servant. Blessed is the servant whom the Lord finds at his task, waiting tables and being faithful to his calling.

    Dale Bruner says, “The proper posture for citizens of the Kingdom while they wait is with their heads down over their tables, not with their eyes to the heavens wondering when the Lord will come.”

  15. Jeanne Damoff

    I’m finally making my blog rounds today, and I’m smiling, because your thoughts are so very kindred to the thoughts I posted today. I don’t have a yellow school bus, but the waiting, and the belief — ah, those I do have. In so many ways, He speaks. And I’m with you. I want to be fool enough to listen and live.

    Love to you. xo

  16. Linda

    It is like putting on rose-colored glasses – this looking through children’s eyes. It is so perfect.
    I believe too Jennifer. I can’t think of anything better to be a fool for!

  17. Teri

    I love the predictability of the school bus today AND heaven someday. We’re waiting for another kind of “bus” to take us to colorful OZ. I think the music will be munchkins singing beautifully in techni-color harmony too!! Thanks for a great piece, Jennifer.

    • dukeslee

      Teri! How fun to see you here in the comment box. So glad I get to sing those songs of praise with you every Sunday right here in the country. It’s just a little taste of Heaven, don’t you think? A prelude to the Main Attraction, yes?

      Thanks for stopping by, friend.

  18. Simply Darlene

    Sister, if you are a fool, I want a seat on the bus you are driving!

    Honestly, it does freak me out when people start talking aloud about Christ’s return and wanting it now. Me? I cannot stop thinking about the grandma and grandpa and brother who refuse to believe.

    (You are gonna need a new t-shirt… wretch AND kooky)


  19. Sara

    “Til he returns, or calls me home, here in the love of Christ I stand…” Beautiful words, and a great teaching moment for all of us.

  20. Megan Willome

    My faith has taken a real beating, but it’s nice to see that I haven’t fallen too far if I still believe in everything you’ve written here (which I do!).

    Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

  21. Deidra

    I was right there in the back seat with you, smelling the lilacs and craning my neck to see the yellow bus coming down the road. I think from here on out, lilacs will always remind me that He’s on His way…

  22. Carol

    That Lydia is so smart!!! When my mama was nearing her last moments on this earth, she kept exclaiming about the beautiful colors!!! I like to think she had a glimpse into heaven and the amazing colors “we don’t even know exist”! The artist in me says, bring it on!!!! Love you!

  23. Bob Gorinski

    “I use to be scared by the end of the world.”

    With each year, each day really, I’m less scared by the end of the world, by the end of me. Sometimes I still have doubt and wonder if I’m trying to pull off some kind of bluff. But on the whole, I’m more at peace with it.

  24. Lisa

    I used to be scared of the end of the world too and would pray “not yet Lord….” , trained as a lawyer grounded in logic and reason, it wasn’t easy for me….but just as you said, over time as I have learned to trust and to believe – as I have lived life and found that the Lord is near and His promises are true, my heart has changed and now I find myself praying “Come soon Lord Jesus”…hopeful, anticipating and truly excited about his return~

    Yes, I believe it will happen, just as He said it would!

    Count me in with the fools for Christ crowd-


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