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There’s a story from the 1800’s of a young couple, William & Elizabeth, madly in love, and engaged to be married. Elizabeth enjoys planning for their future. William on the other hand knows that it’s only a matter of time before he is called away to sea to fight various enemies in far-off lands. Indeed, he tries to prepare Elizabeth for the distinct possibility that one day he will have to leave - but Elizabeth doesn’t really take too much notice. However, one day the call comes. William is to set sail on Saturday, and so he prepares to leave.


Elizabeth is distraught, but William makes her a promise. He says, “I promise I will come back for you. And when I do, we will be married.” And so William goes to war, and Elizabeth is left to wait for his return, knowing that it will be many, many months before William returns, if indeed he returns at all. The months pass, and there is no sign of William’s ship. News finally reaches Elizabeth that William’s ship was lost in a storm, and there is no further news of William. The battle had been won, and the ship was on its way home, only to sink on the return journey.

Elizabeth remembers William’s promise to return but as time passes, her life moves on, and ten years later she meets someone else and is married.

Meanwhile, William was not dead, but rather like Robinson Crusoe, he was alone on an island. Food was a plenty, and he was able to prosper on the island which was something approaching paradise - and William made plans that he and Elizabeth would one day live there. One problem, no one knew he was there. So he waited, and he waited, looking for the day when he would fulfil his promise to Elizabeth.


Finally, some 23 years later, the Island was discovered. William was able to return, and to seek out Elizabeth for an emotional reunion. He returns, as promised, but much later than expected. Of course, Elizabeth’s life has moved on, and so, as William gathers up his extended family, his brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces to emigrate to the island paradise, Elizabeth is left behind to regret not waiting for William’s promise to be fulfilled.

Our waiting for Jesus is a bit like Elizabeth’s waiting for William. Jesus has promised that he will return. He has been to war against the enemy of our Souls, and he has won the battle. But Jesus has not been shipwrecked, contrary to the negative voices which seek to discourage us. Jesus will return, and for those of us who have faith in Him, he will take us to be with Him in paradise.

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