The world seems to be swimming in chaos! Weather has become unpredictable, right and wrong have been reversed and countries are at war. We think we might be Progressing and ascending up, but maybe we are digressing and descending down! In all this chaos, what are we to do? Where do we turn?
A quote I heard somewhere that comes to my mind, and it goes something like, “Don’t ask God to stop the storm, ask for an umbrella and boots!”
Pray and turn to Christ, and ask for the right thing! Judgments are coming as we have been warned in scripture and by many others like Johnathan Cahn, but how are we to respond to all that is swirling around us?
eye of hurricane
Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” He tells us to “Be still.”
Every fierce, angry terrible storm has an “eye”. Chaos is swirling around, but there is a calm part, right in the center amidst the fierce, stormy winds and swirling clouds. Christ is our Center and it is calm there. Be the “calm” in the eye of the storm. Then He can tell us what we need to do, because we are “still” enough to hear him.
In the Bible we find the story of the 10 Virgins.
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”
Five were ready and five were not. What defined the wise apart from the foolish?
In the words of a song and from Psalms, we hear that the Word and Light of God is as a lamp,
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” to help guide us along the pathway when the hours of darkness come. (Psalms 119:105)
If we read the Bible and are Christian, we know that there is certainly a journey ahead of us which we will all have to pass through, a great darkness is approaching. As in the parable, darkness came just before the wedding. Could the parable of the 10 virgins be a warning and a call to us all to be ready?
Deep within our hearts we can feel this is a call individually to seek for that extra Light, the reserve of oil that will carry us in the darkest of nights or the fiercest of storms. In spite of our best planning with all we have learned and the preparations we have made, if we can’t pull it all together in a crisis or a storm, it is all for naught. Either we have the inner strength to get through it or we don’t. Ultimately it is the strength of our faith, our trust in a higher power that will determine our ability to endure.
Back to the parable:
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.“
All the virgins, both wise and foolish were sleeping. The hours have slowly passed and it is late. All are running low on oil. They knew that at some point the oil would burn out. Some prepared for the waiting in darkness. They made preparations for the great event they knew would eventually come.
“Do we lose faith, do we lose patience, do we lose hope, do we get weary in waiting, because the day is long and the event delayed? It is difficult to be prepared for an event so long delayed. Many have found it too difficult and they slumber without due preparation. Hundreds of thousands of us today are in this position. Confidence has been dulled and patience worn thin. It is so hard to wait and be prepared always. But we cannot allow ourselves to slumber.” (Spencer W. Kimball’s “Faith Precedes the Miracle”)
In Rev. 14:12 it says
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
We know what is coming. He has told us in scripture how to prepare. Will we obey? We have further guidance from the Lord when we demonstrate faith and ask.
In Psalms 118:8 it says
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
Do we wait till the last minute to call upon God in a crisis? Do we get caught up in the storm and collapse without extra reserves? Do we make it a priority to take the time to build up our reserves, both physically and spiritually for the events coming? Will we take the message of the parable seriously? Will we be the wise or the foolish virgin?
All of us have passed through dark times, those moments come like a microburst storm. Mostly unexpected. We all find ourselves in the same chaos, and we have all at times become weary. Enduring requires an inner strength, spiritual and mental preparation to accept them, embrace them and work through them with all the grace and integrity we can muster. That is part of the journey here on earth. Our preparation or the lack thereof is the issue. The wedding is approaching! Will you be invited in for the feast, or will the door be shut, leaving you on the outside?
The five foolish virgins asked the wise ones,
“Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
When the opportunity presents itself, it is time to show what we are made of. The time for preparation is over. Let’s start today if we have not started, and continue day by day if we are on that path. For it is not a destination, there is always further Light we can gain, but it is the continual drop by drop of oil we squeeze from every experience if we turn to God. In doing so, we come to know Him, we recognize and obey His voice. Physical and spiritual preparation are tied together. Neither one can be neglected.
The distinction between the wise and foolish was the preparation for the delay that extended the need for extra oil. All were worthy to be invited and known by the wedding party, all waited and grew weary. But only five had thought ahead, prepared for the unexpected and acted accordingly when it was delayed. They had covered all their bases.
I believe the end of the parable is saying that the Lord knows all of us, but do we know Him? It is not a question of knowing about Him, but whether we have a personal relationship with Him. He is saying to come to Him. He desires for us to know Him, to follow Him or He cannot be with us. He is waiting for us to open the door for Him to come into our lives so we can personally then know Him.
John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”
If Christ the Lord is our center, the oil in our lamp, then we will weather any swirling darkness that comes our way. The chaos will be dispersed by the “stillness” …in Him, amidst the storm. The light in the darkness that will never be dimmed.