In adoration I stared at a candle, burning steadily in its glass container. On top of the candle was a metal covering, with just a few slits that let in some air — for without that then the flame would go out since it needs fuel and air to keep burning.
A life with Jesus and in Jesus is like the life of that candle. It burns steadily, protected by Jesus, not living a life exposed to the wind and in constant fear of being extinguished. The air that gets into the life is good air, only that air which was allowed in under Jesus’s protection. The flame may flicker every once in a while, but that is a brief moment and then it is back to its steady burn.
An unprotected candle is subject to all winds, from all directions, at all times. Perhaps the flame wishes to burn steadily, but if it chooses to remains “a candle in the wind” and not sheltered by Jesus then it will not have a steady burn. It may burn out quickly, tiring from all the back and forth it experiences when exposed completely to the whirlwind all around it.
But a protected candle’s burn is constant. It doesn’t burn in fear of being extinguished. It burns under Jesus’ protection and in His love. It fears not and nothing as it burns. It knows that it will one day stop burning, but it does not fear the end. It does not fear because it has lived in Jesus’ protection and will continue to be under Jesus’ protection even after the earthly flame is gone.
…I will admit there are some flaws in this metaphor. However, I still wanted to convey this thought. In terms of a life/living even those protected by Jesus aren’t guaranteed a long life – burning all the way to the end of the wick at the same speed – some lives are shorter than others, some longer. Sometimes you feel like you are in a whirlwind and exposed even though you trust in Jesus; God doesn’t promise a calm existence – you will have trials and suffering like others. BUT a life protected by Jesus is one that is protected from those sufferings in a different way –because you have the knowledge that there is something greater than life that will be achieved by faith in Jesus. A faithful life in Jesus will not get you out of suffering or death, but it will get you eternal salvation.
So my candle will burn and I will not fear the time when the flame burns out, for I will burn on brightly with His angels and saints in heaven.*
*This is the ideal. I would love to say this is how I feel all the time, but I am a flawed person who sometimes forgets this and starts to fear death – for the sake of wanting to live. So I need to remind myself that it is the kind of life I live that matters and not its length.
PS. Actual Candle Question: Does a flame that flickers in the wind actually last longer than one that burns steadily? One that burns constantly goes thru its wick at a regular rate — it’s heat and access to the fuel source is constant. But one being bounced around by wind — does that mean that it burns less while it burns because it can’t keep a steady heat on the wick? In reflecting I was thinking perhaps it burns out faster because it was trying to keep up – but then I was thinking that perhaps actually it burns more slowly because it can’t have a constant heat on the fuel source. Any ideas as to which would burn faster? >> If I have 2 “1-hour candles” and 1 is protected and 1 is exposed to moving air which one would burn out faster? Or would they burn at the same rate??