September 25, 2010

Times of Crisis

Nothing will more correctly reveal what is in a person than the coming upon them of some crushing and unlooked-for crisis. Let it be temporal ruin by the failure of his calculations or the disappointment of all his hopes: let it be the entrance of the death-angel into his home and the removal from it of his nearest and dearest earthly friend; let it be his own prostration by some serious illness which puts him face to face with his dissolution, and forthwith the extent of his resources is unfolded, and it is at once discovered both by others and by himself whether he is animated by unfailing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and sustained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, or whether he has been deceiving himself, all the while relying on some other support. It was a shrewd remark of Andrew Fuller that a man has only as much religion as he can command in trial.

Let us therefore look back upon the past and analyze our experiences at such testing times as those to which I have referred. We have all had them. We have all heard already, in some form or other, this midnight cry, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh"; for in every such surprise as those which I have described, Jesus was coming to us. How did we meet him then? Did our lamps go out? Or were we able to trim them and keep them burning brightly all through? Oh, if by any such event we discovered our utter resourcelessness, let us betake ourselves now to Christ that he may thoroughly renew us by his Holy Spirit and so prepare us for that last and solemnest crisis when over the graves of the slumbering dead the archangel shall cry out, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh," and all shall arise to stand before his great white throne.

In the parable of the Five Foolish Women and Their Friends...the difference between the condition of the wise and that of the foolish was revealed by the coming of the bridegroom. It revealed itself in crisis. During the days before the wedding or night leading up to the start of the feast few would have noticed that five women would have adequately prepared for the bridegroom's coming and five had not.

Suddenly the bridegroom came, and the distinction was immediately apparent. Five women were running around like the Keystone Cops probably knocking into one another tripping over one another trying to figure out where to get more oil for their lamps and trimming their wicks in the dark. It would be a comical scene if it wasn't for the fact that these woman are actually a metaphor for you and I and they represent those that are professing acting Christian's but only on the outside. The difference is internal. Inside they/we are unprepared if we are not prepared in a time of crisis.

How do you know if you are on the wise side or the foolish side? The answer comes from the parable itself. You can preview the results of their/your final judgement by the reaction of the women/your reaction to crisis' in your life today. Do you respond in faith and security or anxiety and dread? Can you weather the storm or does the storm weather you?

~William Taylor: The Parables of Our Savior Expounded and Illustrated. 1900. P170-171

1 comment:

facts said...

great stuff, andy! for weeks i've had it 2 timothy 1:7 on my mind. He commands us to fear not & rejoice always because He knows we can do it with His help! (:D thanks again for your cool posts.

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