From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. – Matthew 4:17
I confess… It makes me crazy when drivers suddenly realize they are passing their exit, and they come to a near standstill in the middle of the road, only to cross two or three lanes of traffic to exit. They didn’t notice the sign for the exit a mile back, or a half-mile back, but they see the sign to exit right now? How do people not see the signs? If they miss the signs, don’t they realize they can turn around and go back? It’s not like they have to keep going across the nation, over an ocean, follow the Silk Road, cross another ocean, then come back to catch their exit on the next pass. There will be an opportunity to turn around. It’s not really necessary to risk both life and limb of everyone else on the road.
I know this personally. I have done it. Driving with my sister across the southeast, we left Georgia, in Eastern Standard Time, and pulled into the rest area just inside the Alabama state line, in Central Standard Time. I dropped her off to walk the dog and drove up to the parking area. The plan was to circle back to her and the dog, but as it turns out, those rest areas don’t have a “circle back” option. They have an entrance and an exit. So, after exiting, I drove west then east then west, changing time zones so many times, the clock yelled stop driving!
Turn around. The Greek word for repent simply means turn around. If you’re going in the wrong direction, just turn around! If you’re not sure whether you are on the right road, look around. Signs of sin and faithlessness, wrong directions, and dead-ends surround us in fear, sadness, greed, conflict, alienation, anger, and more. We never lack for signs that tell us we need to exit the road we’re traveling. If your life is a mess, that’s a flashing, gonging warning that you need to turn around. Even our favorite sins eventually make us miserable.
The good news is that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. God has drawn close to you, and He waits with open arms for you to turn around and turn toward Him. All that you need, the deepest longings of your heart, find satisfaction and contentment in Christ Jesus. We know that, for the most part, but the road we’re on is familiar. Turning around seems hard to do, but in reality, it’s the easiest. Unlike driving a vehicle on a highway, when we stop and turn toward Jesus, no one else is at risk. Life will change, but you have no idea the blessings your Father has in store for you when you turn to Him.
Lift your head and look for Christ. Whether directly in front of you or far from the pathway you travel, turn toward Him, then run, walk, or crawl toward Him. He will meet you more than halfway, if you just turn around.
In Christ –
Rev. Elizabeth Moreau – © 2019