It may be that most large families have one like her. She was a gem. One might consider this precious woman the lynchpin that kept everyone connected. In my mother’s large family of siblings–ten in all–she was Anna. Born Anita Anastasia, she was known affectionately to nieces and nephews as dear Aunt Anna.
Aunt Anna had her quirks. Of her, stories were told that became family legend. Perhaps she was most famous for her tardiness–that is being kind. She was late for every family function, usually very late. My mother often said, “Anna will be late for her own funeral.” I could offer many stories, one will have to suffice.
A special invite went out for my sister Marilyn and Jim’s wedding. Aunt Anna and Uncle George were told a half-hour earlier than the time written on the invitation. Even so, the ceremony was delayed at least forty-five minutes as family and friends waited. Unknown to most everyone else, the wait was because of–you guessed it–Aunt Anna. When Aunt Anna and Uncle George rushed in the back door and hurriedly took their place in the back, that was the cue for the pianist to play the introit and for the ceremony to begin.
Because they traveled country roads, the distance between Aunt Anna’s home and the church ordinarily took about an hour, which means had not the wedding been held up they would have missed it. According to Uncle George, the sole passenger in their fancy Cadillac, Aunt Anna cut the travel time in half. He’d swear later it was the scariest ride of his life.
Whatever the reason, being late was part of Aunt Anna’s constitution. She would never be accused of punctuality. Others around her had to adjust. I maintain that the saints, or family of God, must have the same mindset about Christ. Regarding the coming of our Lord, depend on his delay, but also trust in his coming. Those among the saints who live for the moment Jesus arrives on the clouds must be prepared. It will be in our dear Savior’s time, not ours.
Prophetic Scriptures support this principle. Read of the souls under the altar in Revelation 6. “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge…? Wait a little longer…” counsels God. (6:10-11 NIV)
Also, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (Revelation 13:10b). (Think of the wedding guests clock watching as the minutes rolled by.)
And, “But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. And he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24:48-51)
Next, we will offer more evidence of Jesus’ delay as we look at the often misinterpreted thief in the night.