Being cooped up inside for weeks can get depressing.
So many of the props we rely on to give a quick boost to our spirits are no longer accessible.
“This is a marathon not a sprint,” they told us.
And they were right.
Trying to be a rock for a family in the midst of a seemingly endless crisis can wear you out in many ways…especially spiritually.
So how do you endure a spiritual marathon?
Jesus taught us how, not by using the analogy of a marathon, but by telling a story about 10 virgins (or bridesmaids).
The story is in Matthew 25 where five bridesmaids ran out of oil waiting for the bridegroom while the other five had just enough.
What many of us are experiencing, including me, is not just a health crisis but an oil crisis.
My oil is running low.
How is your oil supply?
In the story it’s tough to tell what oil represents until the very end when the five bridesmaids who hit empty arrive at the feast only to be told by the Lord, “Believe me, I don’t know you.”
Oil = knowing the Lord.
This is the oil of intimacy.
Oil is accumulated through a lifetime of cultivating our relationship with the Lord.
Oil is experiencing an intimate relationship with God through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus had an endless supply of oil.
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit” Acts 10:38
“for God gives him the Spirit without limit” John 3:34
Running out of oil is like losing the experience of our connection with God.
There’s a growing consensus within modern psychology about the largest cause for depression—not having meaningful relational connections.
We need more oil.
Especially when we’re socially isolated.
Especially if we’re leading a family.
We can’t run on empty.
But where can we find more?
Another symbol for the Holy Spirit is a spring of living water.
It’s like a person who has enough oil becomes a source of water for others.
“Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” Jesus told the woman at the well, “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Are you thirsty?
This always begins by repenting of those false sources of water.
Food, entertainment, social media. These are cheap grabs at life.
Like giving cotton candy to a starving man.
It just doesn’t satisfy.
We all have our go-to grabs at life, like addicts, when we’re desperate.
When we need a quick hit.
The Bible calls these broken cisterns.
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13
So if you’re running low on oil.
If water is not flowing from your life.
First we must stop going to broken cisterns.
Reject dirty water.
We need living water.
Spend time with your Father.
Let Him comfort you through the Holy Spirit.
There is only one true source for life.
“Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!” John 7:37
Jesus is still shouting.
PS. We recently launched The Family Teams Podcast and Episode 7 called, “The War on Motherhood” is the first of a four-part series that April and I, with Jeff and Alyssa, recorded a few months ago (before the crisis hit) that we’re finally releasing. Search for The Family Teams Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.