Grandpa was a resourceful man. As he grew up, he did not have a lot of store bought things. He made most of what he used. Grandpa bought his farm before electricity was even in the county. His only light at night was either a candle or a coal oil lamp. Since the cost of coal oil (kerosene) was about a day's wage, he used a lot of candles. Grandpa said he was so poor, he could not pay attention.
Grandpa said he used a special beeswax to make his candles.
He often said nothing was ever sweeter than candle making. I asked him what he meant. He said that he would melt the special beeswax, while eating the bee's honey on a hot buttered butter biscuit. I got hungry just thinking of that. I asked him, “what made the beeswax special'?
I sat with baited interest as Grandpa told of a story of centuries upon centuries ago, a group of nuns lived in a secluded convent deep in the woods. Centuries upon centuries ago, a group of nuns lived in a secluded convent deep in the woods. The convent provided all of their basic needs: cows for milk, sheep for cheese, grain for bread, and even bees for honey. However, one day a deadly plague swept through the land, infecting all of the sisters. Desperate for a cure, their mother superior prayed continuously for seven days and seven nights for a miracle.
On the last day of praying, the mother superior opened her eyes to the sight of one of her beehives glowing with a brilliant blue flame. Being a person of profound faith, she immediately rushed over to the hive and started scooping out globs of golden liquid and feeding it to her sisters. Within seconds, all of their fevers had subsided and all of their plague sores had disappeared.
As they started rejoicing at this miracle, an angel appeared and told them that because of the strength of their faith, God had deemed them all worthy of this magical elixir of healing. And as long as they kept it a secret to all but those who were pure of heart, God would continue to bless them with this miracle cure-all.
And so the sisters of the convent pledged to keep it a secret, sharing its existence and passing down the care of the hive to only the purest and most devout nuns, generation after generation. However, as the years grew, the world's faith dwindled until all that remained of the convent was a lone sister of God.
Desperate to keep her convent's tradition and secret alive, she decided one day to journey out of the woods in search of a girl who was pure of heart. After watching many of the townsfolk, she finally saw a young girl who showed great promise. So the nun approached the girl and explained that she was the keeper of an amazing secret, but that this secret could only be shared with a pure soul.
"Well, how do I know if I'm pure enough?" the young girl asked.
The sister thought about this for a moment and replied, "Try praying continuously for seven days and seven nights, stopping only for sleep and food when necessary. At the end, surely God will send us some sign of your purity."
And so the young girl locked herself in her room and did as the nun asked. But after seven days and seven nights, neither saw any sign from God.
"Hmmm," thought the nun. "Maybe you didn't pray long enough? Try praying continuously, but this time for 30 days and 30 nights."
Trusting the holy woman, the young girl agreed and locked herself in her room again, this time for 30 full days and 30 full nights. However, once again, no sign from God appeared.
Starting to lose faith herself, the old nun suggested that the girl simply needed to pray even longer -- this time for a full year to once and for all prove to God the purity of her soul.
Reluctantly, the young girl agreed. But after six months of near-constant prayer, the girl had finally reached her breaking point.
Enraged, she confronted the old nun. "You told me that if I prayed continuously for an entire year, this would prove the purity of my soul and you would finally share with me some amazing secret! But after six whole months, I've had enough! Either tell me what this amazing secret is or I quit!"
Dejected and having lost all hope, the old sister sadly looked at the young girl and replied, "it's a nun of yore's beeswax."
Grandpa said when you kids are old enough I will tell you more. Grandpa said in his candle making he would melt the beeswax using a double boiler, He said while the beeswax was melting, he would adhere the wick to his candle mold. Grandpa said sometimes if he had extra vanilla extract , he would pour it in the melting bees wax and stir it in. This was to give it a fragrance. Grandpa said then he would let the mixture cool. He then would top off the beeswax in the candle mold and trim the wick. Grand pa said “then after I had lit the candle, there would be light. Grandpa said “it took me a lot of piddlin' and puttering to make that light.
Grandpa then looked at us boys and said, “now remember what the circuit preacher said about light. Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light and there was light. John 1-1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Grandpa said, “God just spoke and there was light. If I tried that with all my candle making skills there would never be a light. I can speak to them, but nothing would ever happen. Well, except one thing, they be talking back to me and saying “you uppity old man with your highfalutin talk and thinkin, your light making is as useful as a steering wheel on an old mule.
Grandpa said, “Any man that thinks he can do what God can do, ain't got sense that God gave a goose. His ideal would be one that would die of loneliness. There is only one man that can bring light into the world and his name is Jesus." John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
Grandpa said my candle will eventually be consumed and shine light no more, But my Jesus, John 12-46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness, John 12- 36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Your candle will put on a new wick and be re-lit to shine forever. Psalm 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Grandpa then told us to bow our heads and pray as he lit one of his candles.
O God, as light comes from this candle, May the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us,
Warming our hearts and brightening our way. May Christ our Savior Bring life into the darkness of this world, And to us, as we wait for his coming. Amen.