God comes to see without a bell.

George Herbert, “Proverbs” in The Complete English Works, 268.

He’s always there, of course, but this saying reminds us that everything can change in a moment. He’s the God of long sameness, but he’s also the God of sudden interruptions. He doesn’t use the doorbell. He shows up unannounced. The Bible urges Christians to live in a state of prayerful watchfulness–kind of like keeping your house or office in a state of readiness for the occasional unannounced guest.

It could be very tempting for this to devolve into anxiety–into a fearful worry that treats God like a murderous robber who might pounce with disaster at any moment. In this case, “prayerful watchfulness” looks more like fortification against uninvited intrusion. This is tempting, but completely misses the character of our good and loving God.

This is Someone you want to show up unannounced. Keeping your house in order for His arrival is a joy, not a drudgery. The church prays, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” Amen. Let us live in prayerful readiness.