Good morning. It is Friday, June 11, 2021.
I had four girls sleeping in my house this morning. Two on my couch and two in the guest room. Four girls that I did not know would be there yesterday. Frankly, four girls that I had no idea would be there even as I prepared my dinner last night.
My granddaughters, 12 and 13 years old, and two of their friends, wanted to spend the night with my daughter. You see my daughter is staying in the guest house and had recently put up a pool. The girls wanted to go swimming. Yesterday was cloudy and very cool, but you could not persuade those 4 that it was not swimming weather. They had made up their mind.
“Can we spend the night too?”, they asked. There was just one problem, not enough floor space for four young ladies in the guest house. The tent!
The girls swam and got cold. My daughter called “mom do you have spare towels? The girls did not bring any.” I pulled 4 towels out of the dryer.
A couple of hours later they were standing in my living room asking for blankets. They had all forgotten their sleeping bags. This grandma set them up with blankets, pillows, bottled water and a bag of cold cereal, you know, for snacking.
My parting words were “it’s going to be cold tonight. If you get too cold, you can sleep on grandma’s floor.” A chorus of “thank you” rang out, but with the assurance they would be just fine.
How many times in our lives have we made plans that were not well thought out? How many times have we decided our way would be better? How many times have we come to a situation totally unprepared? And how many times has Jesus said “this world is too cold. Come to me.”?
The girls could not rest, they could not sleep. They were cold and miserable, but they knew where they could go for warmth and rest: Grandma’s house.
Jesus invites us to “Come to me…and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Psalm 46:1 tells us “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
And just like this grandma, Jesus will do everything in His power to help us, all we need to do is ask. “Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love! Psalm 109:26
I am reminded of the parable in the Bible of the 10 virgins. They all wanted to attend the wedding but 5 of them were totally unprepared.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13 ESV
Do everything in your power to be prepared. Have the oil. Lamps without oil cannot burn; they cannot give light. And just like a lamp we cannot burn and give off light without the Holy Spirt.
Study God’s Word, ask for the gift of the Holy Spirt and be prepared.
We have no idea when Jesus will come again. Signs point toward “very soon” but none of us are promised tomorrow. If we die today, our fate is sealed. Do not put off getting ready. Do not assume you have more time. Live as if today were your last.
“Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore, stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” Mark 13:33-37 ESV