As an avid reader, I have some preferences. I really do love a good biography. I will read about kings, queens, sports figures and the like. But my all-time favorites are stories about missionaries, church leaders and scholars who commit their lives to Godly service. Hudson Taylor is one those favorites. (Everyone ought to read Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secrets. It is really good!)
There is a great story in that book that is told by Hudson’s son, Howard, who traveled throughout China with his dad. Often they were carried in carts or wheelbarrows and stayed in the poorest of inns at night.
Here is one account; “Often with only one large room for coolies and travelers alike, they would screen off a corner for their father and mother for themselves, with curtains of some sort. And then after sleep at last had brought a measure of quiet , they would hear a match struck and seek the flicker of candlelight which told that Hudson, however weary was pouring over the little Bible in two volumes always at hand.”
“From two to four a.m. was the time he usually gave to prayer, the time when he could be most sure of being undisturbed to wait upon God. That flicker of candlelight has meant more to them than all they have read or heard on secret prayer. It meant reality, not preaching, but practice.”
That flicker of candlelight assured them all that Hudson lived what he taught.
I am praying today that all of our homes would have some kind of flickering candlelight for our children to see. Young boys and girls will always be more affected by what we do than what we say.
So this week, perhaps you can make it a priority to spend time pursuing spiritual disciplines. It will most assuredly promote your own spiritual growth. But reading God’s Word, memorizing it, giving generously, fasting for spiritual focus, and sincere prayer will also be a bright beacon for the next generation.
Is there a flickering candle in your home?