Our scripture this week is Matthew 25:1-13, today from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take extra oil with them; but the prudent ones took oil in flasks with their lamps. Now while the groom was delaying, they all became drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there finally was a shout: ‘Behold, the groom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish virgins said to the prudent ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ However, the prudent ones answered, ‘No, there most certainly would not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the groom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Yet later, the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.
Waiting is not something people do willingly. I don’t know anyone who says “I hope I get to stand in a long line today!” We are an impatient people and most of us rank waiting as a primary annoyance.
Why then does God make us wait for the coming of the kingdom? We don’t want to be patient, we want it now! There is the problem, what we want, not what God wants. Waiting means we are not in control.
God led the children of Israel in the desert for forty years. It was several hundred years before the coming of the Messiah. It has now been almost two thousand years since Jesus was here. God’s time is not our time and we must learn to be patient, doing the work we have been called to until God calls us home.
Loving Lord, we are anxious and afraid. We want the resolutions of our problems to be quick and easy. Help us to trust You and wait until the appointed time. Amen.