Let us Prepare Ourselves
When things began to happen with the pandemic, I wasn’t prepared. I knew people would instinctively start to panic. It was only a matter of time before the general population would stock-pile groceries and other necessities in order to hunker-down. Although I wasn’t experiencing panic over the virus or the prospect of quarantine or social isolation, I knew that if I didn’t get my foot in the door of the stores for a few items, there may be very little left. What I had in the cupboards was not enough, and that was an issue. I had developed over time the habit of investing less in groceries because we were always on the go, and we would either grab a snack or go out to eat. Other necessities? I had just enough of certain items but not enough to last for any real length of time. My unpreparedness was a problem.
As I surveyed our pantry, ticking off a mental grocery list, the Lord so subtly and gently dropped a thought into my mind—What if this bare pantry were a reflection of my heart? What if it were a mirror to my spiritual unpreparedness? I considered…had I been investing less in my spiritual growth lately because I was always busy or on the go? Did my spiritual cupboard only have “just enough” to keep me going? And now that I needed the reserve, there was none?
Immediately, the parable of the ten virgins came to mind: “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus Himself warns us here to be prepared. And what seems to be the key to preparedness? To know Him (look at the bridegroom’s response in the parable). We MUST have an active, abiding relationship with Him. We must read His Word, eat of it, meditate on it, hide it in our hearts. We must linger in His Presence, wait on Him, listen for Him, talk to Him, and pray. We must obey Him, even when it’s inconvenient or hard, love Him, and love others. We must be willing to serve Him and others and forgive as He forgave us.
Today, let us prepare ourselves, prepare our hearts, because Jesus, our Bridegroom, is coming soon.