January is usually a challenging time in the lives of many people. The anticipation of the holidays is over, there are messes to be cleaned, and lots of cold weather and dark days ahead.
From times past, I know that it helps me every year to refocus and get a new perspective in order to make it through the long winter months with more grace. I wish you were here today, the flurries of snow are so lovely as it peacefully dances through the air and falls softly. It is so white, so pure, so wonderful. It reminds me of the gentleness of God's word and the beauty of it as it fills our soul. That is exactly the way I feel now as I ponder our morning devotions where we discussed the virgins that didn't bring enough oil for their lamps.
“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.” (Mathew 25: 1-3)
Some of the virgins were called wise and some were called foolish. Why?
Because they had oil? Well, partially … but more because they had thought ahead to the priorities in life. They didn't let things in life distract them from the truly pressing, the truly important, the true priorities. The wise virgins took the time to put oil in their lamps--to be ready to meet the bridegroom.
What does it mean for us to be ready to meet Him? To see Him face to face? How does that play itself out in the warp and woof of our home life? There are times in our lives when we definitely get distracted by dirty rooms, meals to prepare and oh yes, definitely laundry! But, are these the things that put oil into our souls? Likely not.
However, focusing on the Savior that is in the manger and on the cross will definitely fill our soul and guide our hands to the priorities of a time to visit with God every day, a time to talk to our children about why they are created in God's image and maybe some help in how they can walk that out today. Maybe it is time in prayer for the neighbor, friend who is mourning, or family member that feels so alone and misunderstood.
All of our busy-ness will be in vain if it is not in preparation to see Him, to celebrate Him in our homes, to ready all of our children to put Him as the highest priority as we await that wonderful day when He will come back to the earth. God wants us to be ready and anticipating His coming.
The wise virgins were ready--they had faithfully prepared to see their Savior face to face. When we are in readiness the priorities are a lot more clear and our steps are so much more sure. So, as this new year unfolds, evaluate your life in light of this wonderful little story. Take some time today to make sure you have the oil you need for your lamp and you too will be wise.