Friday, January 9, 2009

The Value of Preparation (Number 19 in a series)

“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25: 8-13 (KJV)

My little dog is diabetic. She was diagnosed several years ago. When her veterinarian was teaching me about caring for a diabetic dog, she warned me about the signs of hypoglycemia, such as disorientation, staggering, and lack of muscle control and told me what to do if necessary. I tucked the information away in the back of my mind and went on with the day-to-day business of life. Other than minor adjustments to her insulin dosage along the way, we’ve had a pretty smooth path with her ailment.

In the past few weeks, Shady has experienced two episodes of hypoglycemia, wobbling about and falling at her hindquarters. The first incident caught me by surprise, yet the vet’s instructions came back to me. I rubbed honey on Shady’s gums, as the doctor had instructed, and within a few minutes she was back to her normal self. The vet had prepared me for the possibility of such an event and I was able to act appropriately.

I couldn’t help but think of the parable of the wise virgins and foolish virgins, as recounted in Matthew 25. The wise virgins were ready for the bridegroom’s arrival. They had the supplies they needed and were part of the celebration, whenever he got there. The foolish virgins were not.

Had the vet not taken the time to prepare me for what might happen, I wouldn’t have been ready when action was needed. Neither of us knew when Shady might have an episode. But she gave me the knowledge I needed to be ready to do what had to be done.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to be ready when the Bridegroom returns. We have a second responsibility, as well: to tell others to be ready for His coming. Jesus warned us that we would not know when He would be back, but He will be back. When the day comes, will there be people celebrating with you, because you helped them to prepare? Will there be someone missing from the celebration – someone you regret not telling about Him? The choice is yours.

Father, thank you for the knowledge You have given us, even before we need it, of Your love and care. Thank you for the assurance of Jesus’ return. Give us courage to share the Word with those who don’t know. Help us to stay prepared and to help others to be prepared.

©2009 Mary Beth Magee

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