Light a candle in a room with the doors and windows closed, without any movement of air, and it will burn straight upward towards the heavens. From across that same room, gently, slowly, sweep your arm, and watch as a few seconds later, the shift in the air current reaches the candle, the flame wavers, flickers, curves and dances with the change of the air current.


If you put your hand into a glass bowl of clean, clear water, you can see the change in hydrology. As your hand breaks the surface, the water flows outward. Like the movement of the water, change the shift of the air current, the flame responds.


God feeds us and teaches us differently, at different times, in different ways. What may break me and bring me to my knees in pain and fervent prayer, testing the strength of my flame of faith, may barely break the air current of yours. He comes to us according to His desires for us, not ours. He teaches us using whatever it is in our lives that make us weak or strong, depending on where we are for Him in our faith at the time. He changes us using those currents in our lives, those things that will reach us, teach us, stay with us.


Sometimes, even in a room without movement, a candle flame will flicker and wave. The wick is too long, too much fluff. Trimming the wick, it returns to it's natural state, burning upwards.


Our lives are no different, we like to keep the "fluff" closely guarded, close to our hearts: that extra stuff that stands in the way of our burning pure for God. But God is wise, and His loving hand reaches down and moves the current, sometimes ever so gently, sometimes not so gentle, and we waver in the current shift and we are reminded that the "fluff" has no place in our faith and place with God. Trimming our wicks, our fluff, brings strength to the flame of our faith and, like the candle flame, we burn pure and upward.


As I am sitting here contemplating the stillness of a candle flame, one of my dogs, jumps down from the couch. The candle is on top of the table, but even that downward motion of air has reached the candle testing its flame.


The key isn't to living in a room with closed doors and windows and keeping motion limited so as not to disrupt the flame, but rather keeping our wicks trimmed, faithfully burning, curving, dancing in the motion of life, flickering ever upward, towards God.


By Linda Rodgers

Women's Ministry Leadership Team