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Ever been quoted this ideal quality of the admirable woman?
Her candle goeth not out by night. Proverbs 31:18b
I can remember a few nights when my candle did not go out!
When I began working full-time from home, with two pre-schoolers, sometimes the only time I could finish up assignments was when everyone was quietly sleeping. Many early mornings while it was still dark, I was still finishing up a project from the end of one day, when it was the beginning of another as my husband rose to go to work. I’d kiss him goodbye sleepily and climb into bed, hoping this would be the day the girls would sleep in.
Those were busy days, because after a few short hours of sleep, I’d get up to do the mom thing, and you know what that is like — not even five minutes without someone needing something.
I’m not sure I could keep up that schedule today if I had to — things change over the years! And I don’t think that verse is telling us that the Proverbs 31 Woman worked around the clock, burning the candle at both ends, working herself to a frazzle to get it all finished. Dear friend, don’t think you have to wear yourself out to be a real woman!
Perhaps we have been misled about the true meaning of this verse.
Proverbs 31:18 actually reminds me of Leviticus 24:2 and 4:
Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. . . The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord must be tended continually.
In the Biblical tradition, these lamps represent the Holy Spirit, as further revealed in Revelation 4:5
“Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.”
We are to continually be filled with the Spirit. We are to abide in the vine, in order to produce good fruit, and we must be filled with the oil of the anointing of the Spirit of God in order to burn brightly with the light of God’s love in our lives.
As long as the lamps were burning, the tabernacle was perceived as holy, protected and blessed by God, and ministry was in effect.
Do you think the Lord is more pleased with your incessant activity, your frenzied busy-ness, the constant hum of your computer, the glow of your smart phone display, or the vibration of text messages received at all hours of the night — or with the light of the Spirit of joy and love radiating from your face, and through your life?
I know what Jesus would say, he would say, “(insert your name here_____) you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.”
And what was that one thing? To sit at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. (Luke 10:39-42)
Being a Proverbs 31 Woman is not about being busy. Yes, there are seasons that the only word that can describe you is busy, but then, more than ever, you need at least a few quiet moments during the day when you tend your lamp, and renew your supply of the oil of joy and gladness (Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 45?7)
Please take a moment right now to sit at the feet of our Lord, to enter the quietness of your prayer closet, and to be filled anew with the Spirit, as you meditate and commune with your Creator, as you come boldly before the throne of grace, because of the redemptive work of Jesus.
Do not let your candle go out. Be a light that burns brightly, drawing others to the Light of the World. Be a source of solace and comfort, a representative of the Spirit of God at work in the life of a woman who shows forth His light and love.
May you continually be full of the spirit, and may your lamp burn continually with the Light of the World!
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