Look at this picture closely. Is someone missing? After returning home from Give Kids the World and the Orlando Theme Parks, my wife and I took time to look at the
photographs. We quickly realized that I seldom squeezed into the picture because I served as family photographer while on the trip. In the Mickey and Minnie picture, you assume I’m snapping the shot, but if you make that assumption, it’s wrong. On that morning, I attended a mandatory orientation meeting for all new arrivals to Give Kids the World resort. While Mickey and Minnie wowed the family and posed for snapshots, I learned the history of GKTW, learned about area attractions, and the presenter handed me a packet containing passes to Disney World, Sea World, and a Fast Pass to hand to ride operators for the purpose of bypassing lengthy, time consuming lines. With such goodies being distributed, it was imperative that I attend the hour long meeting. But alas, the compulsory meeting stole a golden opportunity for a family portrait.
When looking at the picture of Delaina, the kids, and Mickey and Minnie, a strange thought crossed my mind. When the Lord returns, I wonder how many photographers will capture on film, family, with a loved one suddenly missing. Imagine a person behind a camera, framing a family of six, standing with Disney characters, and as the shutter closes, more than half of the subjects vanish. No, I’m not describing a scene from an old episode of the Twilight Zone, but depicting a very possible scenario at the Second Coming of Christ.
Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, it will be like what happened during Noah’s time. In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving their children to be married, until the day Noah entered the boat. They knew nothing about what was happening until the flood came and destroyed them. It will be the same when the Son of Man returns. Two men will be in the field. One will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding grain with a mill. One will be taken, and the other will be left.
“So always be ready, because you don’t know the day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:37-42
I Thessalonians also addresses the Lord’s return. “Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and that He rose again. So, because of Him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died. What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living when the Lord comes again will not go before those who have already died. The Lord Himself will come down from Heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” I Thessalonians 4:13-18
For a moment, imagine a loved one left behind, hanging that picture on a living room wall. Every time someone gushes about the beauty of the family picture, the portrait tells the story time and time again. A loved one’s missing…No one has to be in the picture. In fact, no one wants to be in that Kodak moment.
The Bible encourages with these words, “Christ Himself suffered for sin once. He was not guilty, but He suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God.” I Peter 3:18 And, “The Lord is not slow in doing what He promised – the way some understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but He wants all people to change their hearts and lives.” II Peter 3:9
So, wipe that cheesy smile off your face; quit hamming it up for the camera. There’s still time to accept Christ. He wants you outta the picture.