“…her candle goeth not out by night. – Prov. 31:18b
Whenever I have had occasion to teach on the virtuous woman of Proverbs thirty-one, which, as you might imagine, has been often over my husband’s and my ministry together of over fifty-five years, I, like most others, have used this portion of her story to extol her work ethic. She rises early and stays up late ministering to her family, all the while running her household in a frugal and prosperous fashion. But I was recently challenged to read this particular portion of verse eighteen in a different light, no doubt for personal and pertinent reasons.
No matter how decorative and festive a candle may be, the whole idea is to give light. Now, however, one of the most sought after by-products is a pleasant aroma that fills a room and sets a mood. But any old candle that will burn brightly is all we need when the sun isn’t shining, and all of our artificial means of light have been extinguished. Jesus said of you and me, “Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14 & 16). This should give us an idea of how important “this little light of mine” is. It’s all about the glory of God. But remember it says of the woman in Proverbs thirty-one, “her candle goeth not out by night.” Ah, that’s where the rubber meets the road.
There used to be a saying, “The darker the night, the brighter the light.” A candle that may look faint and small in the light of day can shine with brilliance and glory in the blackest night. The time when it may be the hardest and the scariest to shine may be the greatest opportunity we will ever have to virtually “outshine” ourselves for His glory and honor. And verse fifteen of this chapter tells us the most important candle is the one that gives light to “all that are in the house.” In other words, it’s family who are the best judge of the quality of our candle and its light; and it is they to whom we owe this lasting legacy.
What is the most important light in your house? Not the beautiful chandelier you may proudly own, or the bright lights around your bathroom mirror that help you look your best. No, it’s the little, insignificant night-light that keeps others from stumbling in the dark and shows us the way to go.
“Father, make me a night-light for You!”