With the exception of a two year move for my dad’s job, I have lived in the same Alabama town as far back as I can remember. My home town is built on a river and is home to a 90 foot waterfall that holds a special spot in the heart of every town resident. As is the case with most old towns, our landmarks have history….deep, dramatic history.
Way back, this area was inhabited by Indian tribes. There is a legend about a particular tribe that lived right around the large waterfall. The chief of the tribe had a daughter and he promised her hand in marriage to one of his warriors. However, the chief’s daughter was in love with another Indian within the tribe. She pleaded with her father to marry the man she loved, but he would not be swayed. The legend goes on to say that on her wedding day, the chief’s daughter could bring herself to go through with the marriage. She decided that the only way to set herself free was to end her life. Therefore, the young Indian woman jumped off the waterfall’s ledge and crashed to her death. The waterfall was named in her honor and still bears her name today.
This tragic story is written on a bronze plaque and mounted to a statue of the young Indian woman at the falls ledge. When I was young, I would always ask my parents to read the story to me every time we visited the falls. I loved it.
My heart went out to the poor Indian girl, but as a young girl myself, I was really caught up in the idea of an arranged marriage. It seemed so exciting! I mean how great would it be to not have to worry about meeting people, dating, psycoanalysing and having to worry about it not working out? It would be so much easier for my dad to come to me and say,” Summer, your bridegroom’s name is George and he is going to be here to meet you on the 17th of next month.” Boom! Done!
Well, as I got older and wiser, I realized that maybe I did want a pre arranged marriage. I also clued in to the fact that it was the 20th century! However, that did not stop me from revisiting the idea of my unknown, mysterious bridegroom from time to time. What would I do if I knew that he was out there? How would I prepare for his arrival? How much anticipation would build up in me knowing that he was coming one day? Wow, I was a hopeless romantic!
Jesus tells a parable in Matthew 25:1-13 about ten virgins who were waiting for their bridegroom’s arrival. You are probably familiar with the story, so I will recap it briefly. The women were told that their bridegiwas coming, so they gathered their lamps and went out to greet him. Five women chose to rely on just the oil within their lamps to carry them through the night but the other five women brought extra oil for their lamps with them. The bridegroom was delayed getting to the wedding feast, so all of the women fell asleep. Verse 6 says that at midnight, the bridegroom’s arrival was announced. All of the women jumped up to prepare to greet him. The five with extra oil trimmed their wicks to get a brighter flame. The other five women found that their lamps had burned out while they were asleep and they were out of oil. They asked the five who had extra oil to give it to them. The prepared women refused, saying that they could run out if they shared. Instead, they encouraged the women to go buy some oil. The groom arrived while the five were gone. The wedding feast started and the doors were shut. When the five who went to buy oil returned, they knocked on the door and asked the door man to let them in. The door man told them that he did not know them.
A parable is a story with a lesson. The lesson for this story is found in verse 13- Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Sister, if your heart belongs to God and you have surrendered your life to Him, you are the Bride of Christ. Your hand has been promised to Him in a Holy Union. One day, He is going to show up unannounced to get you and take you back to His kingdom. Jesus is the arranged marriage that was established for you by God the day that you gave your heart to Him. I don’t know about you, but that is big time exciting to me…like HUGE!
But what about right now? What do we do? We prepare for the return of our groom. We fill our lamp with the oil of God’s Word. We store it up in an extra vessel like the five wise virgins. We really get to know Jesus and start to build a relationship with Him. Reading the Bible and prayer are the two way in which we can do that.
2 Samuel 22:31- As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s Word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in Him.
John 20:31- But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Jeremiah 33:3- Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Let’s be honest. If you were truly promised in marriage to someone right now would you exhaust every effort to find out as much information about him as you could? Would you talk to people who knew him and get their opinion? Look him up on line, stalk his social media sites, Google him? Of course! We all would! The curiosity of our husband-to-be would be too strong to ignore. Yet, we are promised in Heavenly marriage to the Son of the King of Kings and we tend to do so very little. So often, we do not prepare for His arrival by getting to know Him and establishing a relationship with Him prior to Him getting here.
The story tells us that when the five foolish virgins returned from buying oil, they were not allowed inside. The Master of the door said for them to leave because He did not know them. This is a picture of Matthew 7:23- And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
The foolish virgins, the ones who did not prepare for the arrival of the bridegroom, were not allowed into the wedding feast. The foolish people, the ones who do not prepare for the second coming of Christ, will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Sister, if your heart has been promised to Jesus by you surrendering your life to Him, start preparing for the return of your groom! He is coming and you are going to want to know everything little thing about Him and have a deep relationship with Him before He arrives. Start storing up the oil! If you have given your heart to Jesus, but you are not actively pursuing a relationship with Him, can I just ask why not? Jesus is the the greatest lover of your soul and the best arranged marriage ever! Do not deny yourself the opportunity to know and be known with your Love. You are His bride. Allow Him to connect with you and you connect with Him. It will be the greatest relationship of your whole life, I promise!!!
I am so looking forward to the wedding feast! Not just to celebrate with my Bridegroom, but to celebrate with you. On that glorious day, we will all be together as one big, happy family. I really want to you to be there, too. If you have any questions about the idea of giving your heart to Jesus, it would be my joy to talk to you. Please please please contact me!
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