I had this really cute candle I bought at the store last fall and I burned it quite often. The scent was called Harvest Bakery and all I know is that it smelled amazing and it was in this adorable container. Recently, while it was burning next to my bathtub, it went out. It was done. Finished. At that moment, I realized how much my life right now was like that candle. Maybe you're going through the same thing too.
The container the candle came in was why I bought the candle itself. I really don't need any more candles but I thought if nothing else I could reuse this little glass container later too. I was sad to see that the wick had been burned to the end. There was still plenty of wax inside that needed to be removed for it to serve its next purpose.
See, back in May I found out my livelihood was being stripped away. I had worked hard for the last 7 years doing something I enjoyed, maybe not passionate about, but enjoyed. An announcement as made that on June 17th all my hard work would be gone. Jobless or any interruption in life with such devastating consequences is hard and takes time to process. What was I going to do?
Today, I was carrying a bag of things to our camper (which we live in currently) and inside the bag was this old burned up, used up candle. It had shown it's light for a long time and served it's purpose well. I loved the light it brought in the dark when I was alone with my own thoughts and soaking in the tub that we finally installed in the new house. I pulled the candle out of the bag.
I decided to do the brave thing and attempt to remove the wax. I really don't have much experience working with wax. I took a chance and boiled the container in hot water and watched the wax melt. I pulled it out and pour out what was left over. If I were super thrifty I might have made another candle, but I'm not. I trashed the left overs, cleaned off the label, wiped away any excess wax and held the container up.
I heard in my spirit the Lord speaking at that moment. "It might take a little work to clean things up, but I have a new purpose for you."
What needs cleaning up most in my life is my own thoughts. I need clarity. I need to remove what is old and used up from the last 7 years. I need to refocus and a new purpose. I might take some time. Sure. When it's done though I will be able to serve in a new way, one that will be useful, good, and long lasting.
See, the candle was temporary but the container always had a greater purpose. It might seem like a small purpose to some, but to me it was the entire reason I wanted it in the first place.
This morning in my Bible I started reading John 1. Long story short, the Lord has been keeping me in John 17 and I believe He has something for me there that I need to move forward. I had the thought that I might better understand His message if I started at the beginning. So today, I read about The True Light.
"And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." - John 1:5
That's where I have been since May, in the dark. Any and all light was hard to understand. I was so deep in wallowing in my own hopeless thoughts that I failed to understand the light that was peeking through all the brokenness I was feeling.
So, today, I am thankful for a burned up candle. I am thankful for a new beginning. I am thankful for new purpose. I am thankful my Lord speaks and cares and has been leaning down to listen to my cries for a long, long time.