A Whistle Warning

Written by: Christianne Williams

Spring seems to have finally found its way to Alberta! We are enjoying some beautiful sunny, warm days after a few weeks of winters return. This wonderful weather has allowed us to get out and explore our new town and enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons. Yesterday I ventured out with my daughter and mother for a walk to the egg park. Our town has a giant Pysanka, the world’s largest Easter egg, that serves as a weather vane, and it’s situated on the edge of town in a park that has a pond inhabited by ducks, a playground, and during warm weather, a food truck.

Yesterday the park had a good number of people mulling about, taking pictures by the egg and walking the trails around the pond. While we were sitting on a bench watching the ducks, who had just flapped off to the middle of the pond on our arrival, I heard the train whistle off in the distance. I thought that it would soon be making its way through town on the tracks that run just along the edge of the park. I admit, there’s something about seeing a train that makes me feel like a kid, who cares that its loaded with supplies and not people?

We wandered over to where we could see the tracks more clearly, and waited. We didn’t get too close, however, as I’ve warned the kids endlessly not to get too close to the tracks. In fact, I’ve told them not to ever even walk on them. That last warning led to my daughter getting quite upset when we stepped over them while walking up the road. I heard the whistle again, it seemed just as far away as it had the first time I heard it. I know that’s not possible but it really didn’t seem to be getting any closer at all.

After what seemed like forever, the train came rattling around the corner and thundered by us. My kids were mesmerized for a while; they’ve never seen one up close and personal. I think that may have been a highlight for the day. As I watched the train fly by, it crossed my mind that the warning that it was coming came a long time ahead of it. In fact, several warnings announced its arrival and you could never say that you were unaware of it’s approach.

The same is true of God. He gives us warnings and signals of His coming return. He’s let us know the signs to look for. Just like the train seemed to take forever to finally arrive, it can seem like God is slow in returning. He’s giving us lots of warning, lots of time to take care of business before He shows up.

We can sometimes grow weary waiting for Him, and sometimes question if He really is going to return like He said, but, as 2 Peter 3:9 assures us, ‘the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ This gives us a reason to focus on being the light in the dark places, bringing hope to the people around us, teaching the world about unconditional love that comes through relationship with Christ. Your life is not for nothing, it’s a testimony that will lead people to Him, and prepare them for what’s to come.

Matthew 24 gives us a list of many things that will precede the coming of the Lord, and they can seem very overwhelming and scary. Just as the train whistle sounds while the train is still a distance away, and keeps going at intervals until the train comes through, the biblical signs that precede His coming remind us that His return is near: it’s imminent. 2 Peter 3:13 goes on to say, ‘but in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of the righteous.’ Every life turned to Christ, every healing, every answered prayer is like a train whistle, reminding us that though we experience His Kingdom in the here and now, they also serve as a reminder of the glorious hope we have in Him when His Kingdom comes in all its fullness!