May 4, 2016

How's your lamp?

I have had the great pleasure of being under the tutelage of many mentors. Most, I have never met. The following post was written by one of them.

However, she and I have a coffee date on the books for next week! I finally get to meet her!

Coffee and Suzanne. Perfect day.

Be blessed by Suzanne Chambers. I am sure she will soon be on your mentor list as well.

How's Your Lamp?

by: Suzanne Chambers

Her lamp does not go out at night
Proverbs 31:18b

I have often joked that long ago I tore Proverbs 31 out of my Bible -- too intimidating (and convicting)!  Seriously, some woman is writing about the kind of wife she wants for her son - who in the world can live up to that!

In my now, uh, mature years, I see this passage in a new light.  It's still quite convicting but no longer am I intimidated by it nor tempted to obliterate it from my Bible.  Today I want to focus on one of my most favorite lines.....Her lamp does not go out at night.

For years I read that and thought, yeah, this woman must live in a constant state of sleep deprivation.  Having barely survived the foggy brain months of helping a newborn adjust to life on the outside, I  truly wondered how having a lamp on all night could be considered worthy of emulation.  For the life of me, it seemed to be something to avoid like the plague.  And, if this was just merely describing reality, well, I just could not join that place on the pedestal.  I mean, I really need my sleep to function.  Much less to be superwoman.  (Thank goodness for TAB)

Then I learned what the verse means.  Very helpful.

It does not mean that we should stay up all night.  Thank goodness!

Here, the word lamp is used to convey the light of her soul, her influence, her instruction.  Light that continues to shine when life is dark and the night.

There are many "nights" in the life of every woman.  Times when financial security is stripped away.  Or relational stability is shattered by unfaithfulness. Or death. Times when she is plagued by fears, not only about the future, but also about the very moment of now.  Times when the condemning voice of parenting failure echoes incessantly.  Or when the shakiness of her own emotions threatens to be her undoing.  Darkness.  Night.

During those times, lots of lamps flicker. Some even go out completely.

But some continue to shine.  Even brighter, illuminating the surrounding night.

A lamp that shines in the night is possible, not just for the Proverbs 31 woman, but for all of us who trust in the Light of the World.  Knowing that He cares for us in the night and that He is still sovereign over the night, and that all His ways are good.  That He is faithful and compassionate and at work on our behalf in a thousand ways we cannot see. And that He is our greatest treasure, the object of our heart's desire.

Our lamp-light can get clouded.  Busy schedules that crowd out the seeking of  The Light.  Too many voices that dull the ability to hear Truth. Unconfessed sin.  Relationships in disrepair.  Unforgiveness.  Disobedience.  All these dim the visibility of the Light in us.

This lamp, Scripture tells us is our eye.  If our eye is clear, our life is full of light.  If instead, our eye is bad, then our life is full of darkness.  And if the light that is in us is darkness, how great is the darkness!  (Matthew 6:22,23)

What our eye is focused on determines the brightness of our light. 

Focus on the goodness of God, the treasure of Christ...and our lamp will not go out at night.

But if we focus instead on what this world has to offer....darkness.

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