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Mr. Toad Comes to Visit
by Alan Allegra
10/15/2015 / Salvation
Reach back to your childhood (or remain where you are if you're in your second childhood) and see if you remember storybook characters like "Mr. Bunny" and "Mrs. Mouse." As I matured, I wondered: If there are millions of other bunnies and mice, what are their names? Mr. Bunny #12? Mrs. Mouse #2,372,653? Did Mrs. Mouse take her husband's last name? If so, what was her maiden name?
One bright day, my wife (not named Mrs. Mouse) opened the door to pick up the morning paper, and there was a big ol' toad on the stoop, keeping watch over it. When I finally woke up hours later and looked out, he was still there.
Throughout the following days, we would look out every now and then, expecting to see Mr. Toad but he was gone.
Several days later, Mr. Toad showed up on our patio. Seems like, when you least expect him, he appears.
There is someone else we watch for on a daily basis. Once we have seen him and been taken by him, we want to see him again. I speak, of course, of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus comes into our lives unexpectedly. When my wife went out the door that morning, she wasn't thinking about toads. She was not looking for toads; she was looking for something else: the paper.
People do not seek after Jesus: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God" (Romans 3:10 - 11). People look for many things in life -- pleasure, liberty, love, satisfaction, freedom from guilt -- but no one normally looks for Christ.
Thankfully, Jesus seeks us: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10). It is often at the most unexpected times that Jesus finds us and saves us.
Christians who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior learn to love him more and more, even though they have never seen him. "Though you have not seen him, you love him" (1 Peter 1:8). The Christian longs to be with the beloved and, like the fiance waiting to wed the groom, longs for the Lord's return to take us home. This Jesus has promised to do: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:3).
Jesus warned his followers to keep busy about his work until he comes: "Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes . . . If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Luke 12:35 - 40).
As lovers of animals, we were disappointed that Mr. Toad didn't show up when we looked for him. We were also careful about where we stepped lest we might hurt him. The Christian must also be careful about how he or she walks through life lest we hurt the Lord: "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15 - 16). We cannot waste our time but must spend it wisely, "so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).
We are not looking for Mr. Toad; we are looking for the Lamb of God. Are you watching for him every day? "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour" (Matthew 25:13).
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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