Keep My Candle Trimmed and Burning

I praise you, LORD, for being my guide.
Even in the darkest night, your teachings fill my mind.      Psalm 16:7 (CEV)

God has not allowed me to leave my table with my little candle in front of me. I hope this doesn’t mean there is some really dark time about to visit me! It would be naïve of me to believe that I am going to live through the next 30+ years without some difficulties so I am grateful that God is faithful to bring me to a time with Him that is focused and intimate. God will always answer my questions but sometimes I must wait until this nighttime in order to hear His voice and what He is saying. When my life seems lonely, dark, and cold it is then that the truth seems so bright – a starburst into my mind.

I want God to show me His open door, His answer to my prayer. I pray. I ask. I wait. I pray some more. I ask some more. I wait some more. No answer. What if the answer is delayed? What if God says “No”? If God says, “I give you my grace and that is enough”, (2 Corinthians 12:9)what will I say? Will I be content?

When I am in that dark room of doubt or questions or pain, that scumbag, Satan, may tempt me to think that I will be in this dark place forever. He may try to convince me that I will be miserable forever. – Then I see God’s candle: Jesus my Hope and Promise for tomorrow. I remember that Jesus holds the Keys to death, to all that may try to bind me. My eyes may tell me I am alone. But my spirit reminds me that I am never alone.

Dear friends, don’t forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day. The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.             2 Peter 3:8-9 (CEV)

God is less concerned about my circumstances and more about my character. I may struggle with this world but God is all about me being ready for what is coming next and lasts FOREVER. He is working in me not just around me. James said that I should consider it joy when I encounter trials (James 1:2) not if.

I need to keep God’s candle trimmed and ready so it burns well in my dark times. I do that spending time with Jesus. Asking His Spirit to speak to me through His Word, through musical worship, art worship, dance worship, prayer, and just being quiet. Yes, sitting in silence, choosing to be quiet is making the choice to allow God’s voice come through – teaching, comforting, encouraging, and loving.

Many years ago, I was honored to be a part of a choir that sang under the direction of a composer who had just completed an arrangement of aa song, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning. His name was Andre J. Thomas*. I’ve never forgotten that song. It’s message still resonates in my spirit today. Turn up the volume on your player and LISTEN! to the voice of the Holy Spirit in this song.

*André J. Thomas, the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at The Florida State University. A previous faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin, Dr. Thomas received his degrees from Friends University (B.A.), Northwestern University (M. M.), and the University of Illinois (D.M.A). He is in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and director of Honor/All-State Choirs throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.

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