Most women, myself included, enjoy burning candles in their home. But have you ever really needed the light from a candle? Today we can most often flip a switch and have all the light we need to dispel the darkness. There was a time in this past year that that was not the case for me.
A team from our church went to Spain on a mission trip last April. We went to the Basque region in the beautiful mountains where we were to help with the renovation work of an old farmhouse that is being used like a retreat center. In order to get to the house we travelled quite a way on narrow roads back through pasture land where sheep were grazing on the hillsides. Then the road became a one-lane gravel road that eventually led us to the gates of our host’s ministry site.
The farmhouse was powered by a generator that was turned on early in the morning and off at night. Before going to bed, we were given a fifteen minute warning that the lights would be going out. The first night that the generator was turned off and the lights went out I clearly understood why the warning had been given – you can’t see ANYTHING when the lights are turned off! Since we were so far out in the country there were no lights from other houses or businesses because there were no other houses or businesses for miles around! I literally could not see my hand held up in front of my face. I could just imagine my pupils the size of quarters straining for any trickle of light that might be dancing somewhere on the floor or wall. But alas, there was none.
My husband and I were staying in a little room that had been graciously given to us to share (all the other couples were in the ladies’ or men’s floors). It was so kind of our hosts to give us this room that they’re preparing as their prophet’s chamber. The ceiling of the room was angled over the bed, so that my six-foot, two inch husband had to be careful lest he clunk his head sitting up quickly. I trust you won’t label me as odd, but when the lights went out, that darkness fell over me like a thick black blanket and I felt like I was smothering in our “low-ceiling ed” little room.
Needless to say, it was a rather long night of restlessness, praying, singing in my heart and waiting for the Lord to bring the sun up! Hearing of my rough night, the sweet missionary wife brought me a candle jar that would be safe to burn during the next night. What a difference that light made in the room! It opened the room up, allowed me to breathe again, and sweet sleep came.
I was reminded of this candle event when I recently read Psalm 18:28 – “For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” David isn’t referring to a situation like I faced in Spain, but he’s talking about a dark time he had experienced with Saul and those opposing his reign as king. The fact that David prays this prayer reminds me of several things:
- God is the only One that can bring light during our trials.
- Even people like David, that have a heart for God, experience “dark” times.
- The darkness won’t last forever.
- Jesus is The Light.
- Darkness drives me to my God.
- Candlelight also brings warmth; God warms me with the comfort of His presence during a trial.
Have you experienced a “dark” time when you needed to cry out and ask God to light your candle? Perhaps you’re in the midst of a time like that right now. The flicker of His love can warm and enlighten you like nothing else can. When my hosts heard of my need they were happy to help. When we tell God we need Him, He is there, waiting to light the candle in our heart that nothing or no one can blow out. If you’re in a time of darkness, He is there and ready to “enlighten your darkness.”