This past holiday season I was so proud to find a candle whose scent evoked the very essence of the season, and even more proud that I paid only a small fraction of the cost of candles in the mall store. At home I lit each of the three wicks and enjoyed the fragrance for the next few days until one wick abruptly burned out, followed by another, leaving one solitary wick, barely flickering, threatened by the tiny pool of wax surrounding it. It wasn’t long before it surrendered and I was left without its light.
How often I have felt like that candle. My love for Jesus, desire to know more of God and His Word, and my heart to worship have all burned brightly at times. I want to be more like Jesus! I want to understand more about Him! I want to be near people who love Him and share His love with those who don’t!
I can’t say exactly how it happens, but over time the light of His love in my heart becomes less of a blaze and more of a flicker. I feel…burned out. Prayer becomes not so much a conversation birthed from a desire to know Him, but more of a chore. Bible reading? A checklist item instead of the soul-feeding it once was.
God knew our inclination to burn out long before He ever lit His flame in our heart. He stepped into our human inconsistency as Jesus.
Jesus, who came to bring new life, the One of Whom the scriptures say:
He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle. Matthew 12:20 (NLT)
Feeling burned out? Go to Jesus.
He is not waiting to extinguish your flame for good. He will meet you where you are and breathe, ever so gently, the breath of life into your heart again. He will hover over the broken and burned-out places and light a fresh fire in your heart.
During this time of fasting and focused prayer, draw near to God. And when you feel like your once-fiery love for Jesus has become a fledgling flame, don’t give up. He hasn’t.