In the Blink of an Eye by Randy Rowley, 5/14/23 ©


On a cold Saturday in mid-December, the morning broke late due to a heavy overcast.  It was dark when I went to my pop-up blind so I didn’t notice the cloud cover.  But now that it was getting light, the gray skies and the dampness made me wish I’d stayed in bed.

To add to the dreary day, the birds and animals at the little ranchette near Round Rock seemed to share my depressed mood.  Nothing was moving – no deer, birds, or even squirrels.

The property is thick with squirrels and normally they begin scampering up and down the trees and chasing each other at first light.  But not this morning.

I scanned with my eyes right to left and back dozens of times.  I focused along the full creek, a favorite haunt of the local deer herd.  I had just made another sweep to the left and was returning to the right when, as if in the blink of an eye, there stood a young buck.  As I glassed him, I thought, “Where did you come from?  You weren’t there a couple of seconds ago!”

He stood there staring at my blind.  I, in turn, closely examined him and took pictures.  He wasn’t a legal buck and was too young, even if he had been legal, so I never touched my shotgun.  He stood there for a few more seconds and then slowly walked away to the south.

As I sat there inwardly shaking my head, I pondered on the ability of deer to appear out of nowhere.  Sometimes I’ll stare at a spot until I start drooling on myself, and then I blink, and a deer materializes.  I could retire if I had a dollar for every time this happened to me.  Most of their ability to pop into a landscape is due to their natural camouflage and their ability to sneak into an area without being seen or heard.  They are extremely stealthy.

The Bible also talks about the blink of an eye.  Paul informed the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (NLT), “But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us.  Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed.  It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.  For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies.  And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die.  For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.”

On average, a blink of an eye takes 350 milliseconds, or a little over one-third of a second.  That’s faster than the eye can see.

Just imagine – if we’re alive when the transformation that Paul described happens, we’ll witness our bodies being transformed into perfect bodies that will live forever.  If we’ve already died, we’ll be in the present heaven one second, and then, in the blink of an eye, we’ll be in our redeemed eternal bodies.  And all of this will happen far faster than we can presently see.

Paul’s thoughts that not every Christian will face death and is doomed to the grave were mind-blowing.  Some Christians will witness the coming of Christ in the clouds and be caught up into heaven with his resurrected saints when he comes to take us to be with him.

To put the above passage, commonly called the ‘rapture’ into context, Paul was responding to some Corinthian Christians who said there is no resurrection of the dead.  1 Corinthians 15:13-19 says, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

Because Jesus defeated death’s and hell’s power through his bodily resurrection, all who have been saved from hell by him through their faith in him and by his grace are also assured of victory over death.  We have those victories because we serve a risen, ascended, and glorified Lord.

Jesus raised others from the dead, like Jairus’ daughter (see Matthew 9:18–26) and Lazarus (see John 11:1-44), but they eventually died again.  Jesus alone rose from the dead and never died again!  Due to Adam and Eve’s sin, we were guaranteed death, but Paul conveyed the wonderful truth that all who are in Christ will be made alive (be resurrected from the dead).  We have eternal life with Jesus because he has forgiven our sins and was resurrected from the dead.

Our mortal bodies are temporary dwellings that house our spirits and souls.  At the rapture, our mortal bodies will be transformed into new, incorruptible eternal bodies in the blink of an eye.   We will be changed into the likeness of Jesus, changed from living in perishable bodies to living in imperishable ones (changed from mortal to immortal), and changed from living by faith in Jesus to seeing him face to face.

So whenever I see a deer blink into the landscape where I’m hunting, I think of how one day I too will either, in the blink of an eye, see my body transformed or, if I’ve already died, find myself in my new eternal body.  I can’t wait for the ride!  How about you?

If that transformation frightens you, or you’re not sure you want to experience it, I encourage you to establish a relationship with Jesus by believing in and trusting him, repenting, confessing your sins to him, and asking him to forgive you.  You must also surrender your will to him for the relationship to deepen.  If you’ve already established that relationship but need a renewal, you can renew the relationship by repenting, asking him to forgive you of your sins, and surrendering to his Lordship again.

The buck that appeared in a blink of an eye

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