“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. In fact, it gains company. One of my favorite parts of the Sunday Morning worship service in the churches I have shepherded has always been the lighting of the altar candles by the acolytes.
It’s not just because my children love to be the acolyte. I love the symbolism of lighting the candles on the altar and then the young person carrying the light of Christ from the altar out in to the world at the end of the service.
It’s an interesting property of flame. You could light a thousand candles and the initial flame would have lost none of its fervor. The potency of the flame is not at all affected by the lighting of other flames. In fact, the flame has in a sense multiplied, though it remains unchanged.
A flame on a wick is meant to burn but it has meaning when it multiplies. The flame will eventually burn out. But its heat will continue to be felt only if it has been transferred again and again to another candle.
My friend, if you are suffering today, if you are in pain, if you are in anguish, even when the flame of your candle is threatened by the wind of anguish, if it still burns you can still transfer the light.
It doesn’t matter if you are strong or weak, bold or meek, God has a plan and purpose for your light to shine, your flame to light the wick of others, right where you are; even if where you are is in a hospital bed, a seat of anguish, or a chair of mourning.
While your flame yet burns, there is hope and there is purpose. I especially like the way that Robert Browning said it. “All service ranks the same with God.”
You may not count the warm smile and genuinely Christ-like attitude that you share in your pain matters but God can use it. You may not believe that your prayer offered to an in-home nurse is meaningful but it could be the very means God uses to set her candle afire with the love of Christ.
Even if the flame shutters and the wax is running dry, there is yet flame in you to light another candle.
Prayer: Loving Heavenly Father. Give me the grace necessary to endure my trial and hardship as did Jesus on the Cross–with eternity in view and love for your creation in His heart in the present moment. Amen.
About the author:
Chris Surber is the Pastor at Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk, Virginia. He is a religion columnist for the Suffolk News Herald and a contributor to various Christian publications. You can his website at http://www.chrissurber.com
What simple way can you be a light today? Who is in your life in need of encouragement that only you can offer?
This song, “One Life” is by Press Play and shares about how we just have one life. We have dreams hopes, and even though we keep messing up (like not taking time to encouragement someone who could use it, for example) God forgives us. Enjoy, -Lisa