This is a topic that I feel hugely qualified to talk about. The craziness of life, juggling school runs and toddler tantrums while managing a family home and a writing business is a daily battle against the clock. I feel like I’m in a never ending episode of countdown with the second hand whittling away the minutes left in my day as I try to achieve my writing deadlines before ironing the uniforms for the next morning.
There are some days that I win my battle against the clock with remarkable aplomb, chores done, deadlines smashed way in advance and I find myself in the surprising state of relaxation, glass of wine in hand and Netflix on my laptop rather than Google Drive. There are others, however, that I fail miserably, forced to admit defeat as I fall asleep at the laptop and wake up in my fifth paragraph of ttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. I can’t count how many times I have wished for two or three 28 hour days in my week just to try and catch up with the mountainous laundry pile or clean my bathroom, much less spend time with my wonderfully supportive, long suffering husband.
But it’s just a season right? Burning the candle at both ends is an activity long endured and at times celebrated by hardworking parents who juggle life in order to provide security and stability for their family. A self confessed night owl who can’t function in the mornings before 7am, my days are frequently (and voluntarily!) fuelled by exorbitant amounts of caffeine that makes my evening routine far easier to bear.
This need to be awake and alert is not uncommon, and in fact God has recently been speaking to me a great deal about remaining just so in my daily walk with Him. I have found myself returning to the parables of the Ten Bridesmaids in Matthew 25 over and over again, and when it was preached on at church last week I realised that God obviously wants me to hear this, and hear it thoroughly. This story, told be Jesus, is of ten bridesmaids who were required to keep their lamps burning into the night so that they could welcome the bridegroom when he came unexpectedly to take his bride. Unlike my less successful evenings when deadlines beckon, the bridesmaids were able to sleep during the night while they waited but they had to be prepared and alert, lamps filled with oil, ready to receive the bridegroom at a moments notice.
The first point God whispered to my heart was that they wouldn’t have been able to be alert and ready if they weren’t first rested.
To expect someone to function fully at a moments notice in the night requires them to have had the right amount of rest beforehand, and God revealed to me that unless I am fully rested, finding my peace and fulfilment in Him, then I will never be able to fully function in the night; the dark world that I find myself in today.
Whether we like it or not, darkness reign on this earth, and night time has come. BUT there is a glorious dawn on the horizon, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ WILL come again to reclaim God’s creation and redeem His sons and daughters.
My friend, we are in dark times, and I believe that God would say to us that we need to be awake, alert and aware of what is going on around us, and in order to fully function at a moments notice, like the bridesmaids we need to be filled and fulfilled by God Himself on a daily basis.
Seek Him for your healing, seek Him for your spouse, seek Him for your financial miracle, seek Him for your children. Don’t allow previous disappointments and doubts for the future cloud your ability to seek first His face, to rest in His presence and be filled with every good thing that you need.
The second point God spoke into my heart was that without their lamps burning they wouldn’t have been able to see who was coming.
We are in dark times and the devil is on the rampage. You may be quietly going about your life, doing great things for the Kingdom of God, building your business or raising a family, but know this; the thief comes in the dead of night, to steal, kill and destroy. And he will do everything in his power to distract you and throw you off track. You need to make sure that your lamp is burning brightly so that you can illuminate the darkness and make sure that the person leading you forward is Jesus, no one else. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the devil cannot influence you. True, when we are born again he has no power over us, he cannot touch us, but he can cause us to doubt, to be distracted, to be delayed and ultimatley lead us on a path of self destruction without us even realising it.
My friend, as a believe you are the bride of Christ. You are His perfect, spotless, beautiful bride and He is coming back for YOU. Rest in Him, find peace and fulfilment in Him and Him alone, and keep your lamp burning bright so that you let the bridegroom and only the bridegroom come to claim you.