Well, my hearing is going. You guys know that because I told you about the time I thought the girl ordering my shoes said they would arrive in 47 business days, instead of 4 to 7. The thing is I probably take too much solace in the fact that I hear way better than my husband. I am almost like his interpreter, I am so often helping him understand what our sons are saying.
But this morning I was listening to my Pray as You Go app, and the Scripture reader is Irish or Scottish, with a very pronounced brogue. I thought he said, “the bridesmaids took their lumps.” And I puzzled over that, tuning out everything else. The bridesmaids took their lumps? Huh? I don’t remember taking one’s lumps being in the Bible, at all. But I finally figured out he was saying lamps, not lumps.
The bridesmaids took their lamps. Oh yes, some with oil and some without. Do you know what the story symbolizes? It’s a parable about being ready when Christ returns, in essence a warning about choosing to accept Christ’s atoning sacrifice before it’s too late. Isn’t it an awful idea to not be ready?
Honestly it makes the lumps of this life feel a lot less burdensome. The fearful masses drive me crazy. The increasing willingness of people to call evil good, and good evil. The self-righteous narcissists who are admired by our culture instead of pitied. The lack of strong and courageous leaders in our educational institutions, where healthy kids at essentially zero risk are paying an absurdly high cost for rampant fear. These are lumps that can feel joy-robbing to me, but I just need to make sure there’s oil in my lamp. It is not my job to de-lump the world, or even my little corner of it. It is my job to keep my lamp lit.
I don’t know what your lumps are today. But God does. God knows what is troubling your heart and He never says, “Oh get over it! Look how bad they have it.” No, He cares about what you care about. He longs to show you love and compassion. But there is a deadline in this life. You cannot put off answering His gentle knock at the door of your heart forever.
When the unprepared bridesmaids came back from getting oil for their lamps, they knocked at the door, 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, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:11-13 NASB
Praying that you and I keep our lamps lit and our lumps at the feet of Jesus.