Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CALENDAR (10/20/16)
TITLE: When Tomorrow Comes
By Holly Westefeld
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I, by contrast, grew up in the peace and prosperity of the United States, complacent, despite my parents' faithful example of Christ, drawn away from what I viewed as quaint traditions that had little application to my generation captivated by music and movies. College filled my head with secular humanism, and Grandmother's stories of courage, suffering, and hope sifted to the depths of memory, until my parents disappeared, along with millions of others around the world, mostly reported as being "religious fanatics."
Conspiracy theories abounded, but I knew what had happened, and more importantly, what was going to happen. Dropping to my knees, I did what my parents had longed for all my life and surrendered my life to Jesus. I gathered my vital documents and my scant valuables, and abandoned my apartment, making my way through the chaos to my parents' home. There I added their Bible, Grandmother's journal, and her certificate declaring her Righteous Among the Nations to my luggage.
I had made my way to Israel by the time a seven year peace treaty had been signed between their government and the newly formed confederation of nations, noting the day in my planner. I shared my family's story, and what Scripture reveals about those next seven years. Many scoffed, as I had, but many believed and worked together to prepare this place, Petra, to shelter the faithful in this time.
These caves are so much more spacious than the attic in which Grandmother's family hid Jews from the Nazis, and the lap of luxury compared to the squalor and deprivation of the concentration camps. It still amazes me that so many clung to hope, keeping track of the calendar in their heads, Christians and Jews both marking holidays with recitations of Scriptures and songs, and what meager fare and symbols they could improvise. Forewarned, we were able to store basic yet sufficient food and bedding. We have solar powered tablets with which we are able to encourage those unable to have joined us here, and keep track of the progression of plagues and judgments upon those who took the beast's mark. We share in celebrating combined feast days and holidays, one in our hope. The prisoners' hope came from God's past miracles and faithfulness, not any specific certainty of when their misery would end, or whether it would end by death or rescue. Could they have imagined that just a few decades later that the Jews would be sheltering many Christians, from the martyrdom of beheading, in the Promised Land?
So perhaps I should describe our mindset more as expectation and anticipation, faith in the imminent culmination of this segment of God's promised plan. We know that this time will conclude tomorrow, the seventh anniversary of the treaty that was broken precisely at its midpoint by the desecration of the temple.
When tomorrow comes, the battle will end. The calendar will be reset for a thousand years, and then there will be no further need of calendars.
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