Some seasons of life are harder than others — they all come with purpose, but the difficult places can be very hard to overcome. How does God use the flames of affliction in our lives? Why does He choose this method?
The Flames of Affliction — Our Difficult Places — Have Purpose
I considered the ways of God as I struck the match and pressed its flame against the candle wick. Within moments, a globe of fire consumed the string and burned bright. I watched as the flame grew stronger, melting the aromatic candle.
The more melting occurred, the stronger the fragrance — the farther its reach as the aroma of Farm Apple Pumpkin permeated the room.
Closing my eyes, I leaned back and sat still, waiting on the Lord, for I knew He wanted to show me something.
The flame was bringing about the purpose of the candle.
The flames of affliction in my life were doing the same.
Melting. Molding. Preparing me for such a time as this.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God … ” ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-15, AMP
Is my life a sweet fragrance of Christ ascending to the throne of God? Is yours? I think most of us ascribe to this beautiful thought and desire evidence of such, and in some moments perhaps my tongue, my attitude, my actions are a sweet aroma.
But then there are the days when my flesh stinks … even to me!
And this leads me to what I believe the Lord wanted me to see as I watched the candle burn …
It’s the Flame That Melts the Hardened Candle
The hardened candle itself began to melt. The longer the “flame kindled upon it”, the more it melted and the more it melted, the more the fragrance was released.
I thought of my heart and the places I carefully guard from others. Could it be that in my guarding, I am also resisting the Lord’s presence there? His touch?
It’s the flame that melts the hardened candle.
It’s the flames of affliction that can melt our hearts, allowing the liquid love of our Father to flow through the barren and wounded places. As it flows, more and more melting occurs bringing healing, renewal … a sweetness of heart that fills to the brim with praise.
And that is when the sweet aroma of Christ rises to bring a blessing to our God, and permeates our surroundings bringing a vital fragrance, living and fresh to those around us, drawing them to Him — the One who loves them more than anyone can imagine.
A few hours later I blew on the candle. The flame went out and a plume of smoke rose, wafting upwards.
I couldn’t help but think of God’s consuming fire accepting a sacrifice on the altar of His love — an offering of a heart once hardened and now set free.
Bless the Name of the Lord.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,