Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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March 9, 2021: My Future

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16–17, NKJV).

As a 4-year-old, I didn’t understand the concept of death and that my father would never come home again. For weeks, I stayed up at night waiting for him. By the age of 8, though, I understood that he was not returning and this new unfavorable home where I lived was my only home. I longed for the daddy that I couldn’t even remember because I longed for a daddy who cared, provided, listened, held and loved me.

In a small, two-room Seventh-day Adventist school, I learned these verses and immediately claimed them as my own: “And the dead in Christ will rise first.” My hope. My promise. My future. I could not wait to see my daddy again!

Years have passed and these verses still remain powerful, but with one growing change: As much as I still long to know my daddy, I have found that I long even more for my heavenly Father. I have a “Daddy” who has taken care of me, provided for me, listened to me, held me and loves me with an eternal love. And I desperately long “to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord!”

Father, I can only imagine what I’ll do when I stand before You! Amen.

Debbie Rivera is a pastor at the Ellicott City church in Maryland.

Join the Journey 

To help you dig deeper into God’s Holy Word this year, we’re offering:

  • Every Month—This calendar, themed “Words of Life,” coincides with the devotional book and videos. It features a biblical topic and verse each month, with additional passages for further exploration, study and ideas on how to apply the concepts in your daily life.