Day 33

The Day Is Near

Matthew 25:1-13, Daniel 2:22, Romans 13:11-14, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Timothy 6:12-16

BY Jen Yokel

Section 4: Waiting for the Light

I’ve never been a big New Year’s Eve celebrator, at least not in the typical sense. Instead of late night crowds and noise and dancing, I favor something quieter at home. It’s a time for reflection on the past and looking ahead with hope to the future. Still, as the years add up, there’s more to remember. Time blends the months together and lets them flow like a river toward an unknown future.

But who among us can look around at this world of beauty and tragedy without asking, “How long, oh Lord? How long until you make it all beautiful and right?” As we take down our trees and turn down the lights on another Advent season, our longing for the second advent deepens.

This longing is not new. Even though Jesus shared life with them, walking their roads and breathing their air, His disciples wanted to know what was next. When would it all be made right? What is the grand plan? As usual, Jesus answered with stories.

Once upon a time, ten women were preparing for a wedding party. Late in the night, they set out with their lamps to wait for the groom’s arrival. Five of them came prepared with their lamps and extra fuel besides. The other five just brought their lamps because they expected everything to go according to their plan.

But it didn’t. The groom was delayed along the way. By the time he arrived, it was too late to correct their mistake, and so they missed the feast. “Therefore, be alert,” Jesus concludes, “because you don’t know either the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:13). 

What would we change if we knew the plan, if the future was as predictable as the turn of the calendar on New Year’s Eve? Would we wait with the same eagerness? Would we procrastinate? Would we stay faithful? Or is the beauty of not knowing in watching the horizon, waiting for the sun to rise?

Here’s what we do know: “now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11–12). As we watch and wait, God leads us into hopeful, wakeful, abundant life. God brings darkness to light, “reveals the deep and hidden things,” and will bring everything together “in his own time” (1Corinthians 4:5, Daniel 2:22, 1Timothy 6:15).

We can’t know exactly when and how God will set things right, but we can faithfully seek to follow Jesus in every moment. And though we can’t bring about total restoration in our own strength, we can participate in the healing of the world, one new year at a time. Until that day, may we watch and wait with hope for the dawn of a new morning in a world without end. 

Post Comments (54)

54 thoughts on "The Day Is Near"

  1. Brandy Deruso says:

    The race is not given to the swift not to the strong but to the one who endureth until the end there will be problems and sometimes you may have to walk alone but I know that things will work out yes they will for the good of them who love the lord! I shall wear a crown when it’s all over I shall see his face when it’s all over I’m going to put on my robe and tell the story how I made it over soon as I get home I have the victory and my crown is waiting for me when I get home! No weapon formed against me shall not prosper cause I’m covered by the blood I shall not fight in the flesh but I shall let the lord fight my battles for he is for me Satan you can’t touch me! I declare and decree heaven is my home and my goal blessings is my portion! Hallelujah! I’ve won the victory!

  2. Debbie Barney says:

    Verse 9 strikes me. Does this verse tell us that at some point in our lives, we don’t have to share what we’ve stocked up in preparation, to cover another’s unpreparedness, to realize that were not responsible for everyone else? I’m not sure om asking this right; I know we need to be generous and forgiving, etc., etc. Thoughts?

    1. Shelby P says:

      I wonder if the oil represents something that can’t necessarily be shared physically? I think about the oil as preparing my heart and life for the Lord’s coming. I am building up my oil as I prepare for the Lord’s coming, but I cannot prepare others for the Lord’s coming. I can try to help guide others but ultimately they have to make the decision to build up their own supply of oil as they spend time with the Lord and prepare for his return. I’m not sure if this is totally accurate or makes sense, but this is how I think of it.

  3. Jen Brewer says:

    Grateful for all of you, sisters. Thank you, SRT, for a beautiful advent study. Really appreciated these readings in the week between Christmas and New Years Day. Love remembering how many ways Jesus is our everlasting light. Such an encouragement over these challenging months. Trying to continue looking to Jesus as my light as there are still a lot of unknowns for my part time job I am hoping to find (searching 6 months consistently yet over a year since I started the search) and brokenness in some relationships in my family since we moved back to TN 18 months ago. Also a lot of sweetness as it is my 4 year anniversary being part of SRT as I started when I was pregnant with my firstborn. He was due Christmas Day and came a week later on New Years Day so we are excited to celebrate our big 4 year old tomorrow. Happy new year, dear hearts. ✨❤️✨

  4. Samantha A says:

    Today’s scripture/ devotional really hits home – especially with simultaneously reading the biography of Rees Howells by Norman Grubb (“Rees Howells Intercessor”). I highly recommend it if anyone has the time!

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