Tuesday 12 April 2022

Matthew 25:1-13 (NIV)

1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “ ‘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.’ 10 “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. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The Passion Translation writes verse 6 as “Get up! The bridegroom is here. Come out and have an encounter with him”.

Reading that verse reminded me of something that happened yesterday. After a hard day at work, I was feeling tired and discouraged. I had been wrestling feelings of shame and even during the day I had prayed “Holy Spirit I need your help. I can’t fight this shame on my own”. So, at the end of the day, I hopped in the car and turned the Christian radio station on. A song started to play. The opening lines were, “I want you as you are, not as you ought to be. Won’t you let down your guard and come to Me. The shame that grips you now is crippling. It breaks my heart to see you suffering” (Drops in the Ocean by Hawk Nelson).

Well, I was caught off guard and overwhelmed by how specifically Jesus was speaking to me in that moment. In fact, it was too much for this little heart of mine to deal with. So, I said, “Later Lord. When I get home, I’ll sit with you and listen to the song again and let you speak to me then”.

But I didn’t. I stood him up.

I got busy at home doing important things like, I don’t know – household chores and scrolling on social media?

Just like the bridegroom who was on his way to meet the virgins, Jesus was wanting to meet with me. But just like to virgins who were busy and missed their chance for an encounter with the bridegroom, I missed an opportunity to encounter Jesus in that moment because I didn’t expect him to show up in the car nor did I show up when I said I would.

Holy Spirit, just like that someone who shouted out in verse 6, call me and draw me out so that I may encounter Jesus, especially in those moments when I really need him. May I truly expect Jesus to show up to meet me during my day.

Written by Gab Martin

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