Keep Me Burning

It’s embarrassing but there was a season where I dreaded Proverbs 31. I would cringe at posters, conferences and Bible studies that went on about that woman who had it all together. I struggled to relate with her. She was perfect! And I wasn’t. She made business deals, she purchased lands, she woke up super early, she had employees, she had great work ethics, she had a vineyard, she did philanthropic work, she was in the fashion industry, she made her own linen and bedding too (LIKE WHO DOES THAT? ) at the same time she managed to serve her husband and children. Look, I have not exhausted the list. This woman gave me a lot of pressure. She was super woman.

Now that I’m a bit older and wiser I see this portion of Scripture differently. Because of where you are in life you may miss some truths even when you read your Bible every day, your mind will filter some things. So, I’ve been reading Proverbs 31 and it’s like I’m reading if for the first time. Here are some things I missed back then:

1) This woman was not always like this. Her life did not just turn out like this. It was a process. When I read this portion I can sense her consistency in her doing what she does.

2) Verses 17 says, ” she dresses herself with strength”… This means that she needed strength for the life she had. She had moments when she was not strong. She had to make a conscious decision to “put” on strength cause there were moments she felt frail. Again in verse 25 the word “strength” is mentioned. “She puts on strength and dignity”…. She needed strength, why? Because she was not perfect. She needed strength to be faithful, to persevere and to walk in dignity. So yeah, after getting all that I gave this woman a break.

3) This is the part that struck me, it’s actually what I want to focus on today. For me Proverbs 31 is about the strength that is available for women to thrive in all areas of their lives. At the same time it’s a picture of the church preparing for the coming of Christ. The woman is a steward, she uses her gifts and talents to expand and make profit. This is our mission on earth, to be about our Father’s business.

I came across verses 18…”her lamp does not go out at night”. This woman was a busy woman. She definitely needed to sleep and probably did sleep to wake up early. So, to me that statement meant something deeper. It simply points to the fact that she had oil in her lamp. It reminds me of the 10 virgins in the book of Matthew 25. Five of them were wise and five of them were foolish. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. To me the oil is symbolic of our fellowship or communion with Jesus. Even in her hectic schedule, the Proverb 31 woman had her lamp burning.

Is the lamp in your heart still burning for Jesus ? How much oil do you have left? Do you need your flame fanned? Do you need a refill? Because you can get a refill you know? Jesus is here to fill you up. Sit at his feet like Mary did. Yes, I know you need to get things done like the Proverbs 31 woman… But take a moment to pour some oil in your lamp. May Jesus find you and I running on oil from spending time with Him and trusting in Him and not from the fumes of this fleeting world.

Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning,  as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks –Luke 12:35‭-‬36

Prayer

Lord, give me oil in my lamp to keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp I pray. Give me oil in my lamp to keep me burning till the break of day.

Amen.

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