Making Provision for the Long Haul
Matthew 25:11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
The story of the ten bridesmaids or virgins is familiar to us. They were to wait with their lamps lit for the arrival of the bridegroom. They all became drowsy and fell asleep as they awaited him, but when he did come at midnight they woke up. Unfortunately only five of them had thought ahead and brought enough oil to keep their lamps lit. Those without enough oil tried getting some from the others but that wasn’t possible so they ran to get more but when they returned it was too late. They hadn’t taken the call to be prepared seriously and so, at the end they were left out.
There were ten young people who were a part of a Bible Study and were greatly inspired by the word of God. Excited about serving the Lord in this world they all took off in different directions, some to further education, some to begin their vocation, and some to spend a little more time finding their way. All were good and kept seeking God.
Throughout the years life came along and interrupted some of their dreams. Even those with visions of ministry positions had their struggles as things just didn’t appear to be “successful.”
People in the church disappointed them.
Parents disappointed them.
Friends disappointed them.
Their own children disappointed them.
But in the midst of the strain of life the members chose to respond in different ways. Five of them allowed the circumstances to make them better — not bitter. In the midst of the challenges they continued in the word and in prayer, daily seeking the face of God. God gave them provision to make it through the obstacles placed in their way and the result was quite beautiful. The struggles of life served to mold them into beautiful reflections of Jesus Christ.
The remaining five continued to attend church and speak of the things of God, but they didn’t invest in the time to get to know God intimately. When faced with turbulence they were jolted off the path and deeply wounded. There was no balm to be found in Gilead — they were scarred by all that they had experienced. Little by little they were hardened into a rigid image, reflecting the difficulties of life.
The oil of the lamp is the anointing oil which pours over us in the time of our deepest need. The oil of God’s Holy Spirit wants to fill our wounds and heal us from the inside out, producing soft and pliable scars that are barely visible. We are on this journey with the Lord for the long haul. Even the virgins in Jesus’ parable fell asleep while they were waiting. It was a long time!
As we await the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we discover that we are in this for the long haul. We need to fuel the relationship with our Lord on a daily basis to be able to continue through. The same can be said of earthly relationships. Unless they are fed on a daily basis they will eventually grow cold. The sustenance of a face to face relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the promise of making provision for the long haul. We get to experience something more beautiful than we could ever imagine. Yes — it’s worth it!
Lord, please help me to be filled by you on a daily basis. Thank you for helping me through the obstacles of life. Amen.
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