Weekly Sabbath Survey
Passing Out Candles — 10-5-13
My friend Bonnie Manning and I have never met in person, but we get a lot of things done over the phone and in e-mail. In a phone call not long ago, we discussed reaching out to others with truth we know, and how strongly we feel to do this in whatever way we can, as the Lord leads. She followed up with an e-mail and wrote something simple but very profound:
We all do what we know until we know better. Once I was blind on that certain thing, but now I see.
The Holy Spirit quickened my own spirit as I read those words. It is such an important truth. Many things I know now seem so obvious to me, but when I first heard some of it many years ago, it was very good and BIG news to me. Learning new things led me to eventually getting “out of the box” to become a thinker, or as I say now, a Herd Quitter. Making that transition opened the door even wider to learn as I read and studied the Bible. With the Holy Spirit as my teacher, I can hear from God for myself. I read the teachings of others and attend Bible studies from time to time, as I continued to work out my own salvation/deliverance with fear and trembling. [Philippians 2:12]
A prophet friend of many years ago (now gone on to be with the Lord) once told me, “Your experiences are like you went through a dark tunnel with a small candle someone gave you. You passed by other people in the tunnel. You paused at times to rest and talk with these people. Some of them were like you, had bright new candles and moved along quickly. Others were moving along, but very slowly and their candles were growing dim. Still others had just given up and were sitting there in the great despair of darkness, their candles burned out completely. You kept going, and finally, you saw daylight ahead. You ran for the light. For a time, you danced around in the open air and felt so happy, so free from the cold and dark of the tunnel. But soon, you remembered the cries of the weary and dejected people still back in the tunnel. You looked into that darkness and knew you had to go back and help them come to “The Light.”
I have never forgotten that parable my precious little (former Catholic nun) friend told me as she described my ‘mission’ in the Lord. Her name is Barbara Ann Chase.
This going back to others applies to our salvation and to every revelation and knowledge of God we have gained since. Whatever it is we have from the Lord, we realize we were once ignorant of that just like the people back where we came from. I still remember the person who put that first small candle into my hand, the person who introduced Jesus to me as my personal Savior — not the God of my parents and grandparents, not the Savior of the World — He became MY Savior. It was church camp and I was 13 years old. My friend who prayed with me for salvation was a Senior in high school. His name was Royce. I never saw him again.
But I have to follow his example. I cannot just enjoy my place in the Sun and have no sympathy nor heart nor help for the ones who still sit in darkness. So now, I have my ministry, my mission to receive candles from the Lord and go back to pass them out in the various tunnels that are the experiences of life we all go through. Some of them are darker than others, some have monsters. But I must keep encouraging the people there to never give up, to keep going toward the Great Light. I replace the burned out candles with new ones and re-light the candles that just got blown out, but can still give light. It is my mission. And the Scripture below is my message.
The Gentiles who walked in darkness have seen a Great Light. Those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the Light has shined. Arise, shine, for your Light has come; and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah 9:2, 60:1
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah