‘At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps.’ (verses 1-4)
Read Matthew 25:1-13
It’s easy to have faith when God seems near. But what happens when God seems distant, we can’t see him coming and he doesn’t seem to hear us?
The ten girls in this parable were all dressed up with no place to go. All of them went out with their lamps, eager to meet the bridegroom and escort him to the wedding feast. Somehow their excitement turned to impatience, and finally tiredness set in. None of them could keep their eyes open. The difference between the wise and foolish girls was that the wise ones were prepared for the wait. They could keep their lamps lit until he came.
All of us must go through times of waiting. All of us will face times when God seems distant and our faith is tested. All of us will succumb to our human weaknesses at times. But the real test of our faith is whether we are prepared for the wait.
As you wait for Jesus to come, don’t lose heart because he seems distant and all around you seems dark. Don’t worry about the creases and dirt marks in your clothes from when you fell asleep on the ground. All you have to be concerned about is keeping your faith, the flame that God lit at your baptism, alive.
Lord Jesus, you have given me faith. Please give me the endurance and encouragement I need to keep it alive. Amen.
by Jorg Ernst in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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