One summer when I was in graduate school, after the finals were over and the school work was done, I decided to drive from Memphis, Tennessee to Reading, Pennsylvania to surprise my parents. I called my sister, who was at home for the summer from Harding to make sure that everyone would be there that night when I arrived. I told her to keep it a secret because I wanted to surprise them. My sister, who was never good at keeping secrets, goes to my parents and kept asking, “We are going to stay here all night tonight right?” and “Is there any reason why you would go anywhere today?”
My Dad recognizing that something was up, although it didn’t take an investigative genius to figure that out said, “Ok, who’s coming?” My sister replied, “Uh, nobody!” and ran up the steps. Immediately my parents began to quiz her on who was coming and she managed to keep them guessing. My parents immediately began making preparations for guests. Who could it be? How many would it be? They cleaned the house, stocked the fridge, and made all my little brothers and sisters look presentable. All this was because of a guest that was coming. They didn’t know who and they didn’t know when but they would be ready for their arrival. That night, I finally arrived. My parents were surprised, happy, relieved, and prepared. We had a great week together.
1 Peter 1:13 encourages us to have “minds that are alert and fully sober” and then he says, “set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” As Christians we are to keep ourselves ready, alert, and hopeful as we await the full gift of grace coming with Christ’s return. My parents didn’t know who was coming that summer night, but it kept them alert. On the other hand, we know our Savior is returning, this all the reason more for us to remain alert, hopeful, and prepared for Him. I wonder what that day will be like. Will you be surprised by grace?