Modern day computer generated graphics and animation are really magnificent things to behold. Even cartoons today impress us with their marvelous technological advances not only in the movies but in home entertainment and video games as well. This is why Max Lucado’s story in his book entitled “God Came Near” could propel us to one of those funny computer animated cartoons in our imagination as he tells us the story of the 4 candles. Let me share it with you. Lucado says:
“A few nights ago a peculiar thing happened. An electrical storm caused a blackout in our neighborhood. When the lights went out, “I felt my way through the darkness into the storage closet where we keep the candles for nights like this……I took my match and lit four of them……
I was turning to leave with the large candle in my hand when I heard a voice. “Now, hold it right there.”
“Who said that?”
“I did.” The voice was near my hand.
“who are you?” “What are you?”
“I’m a candle.”
I lifted up the candle to take a closer look. You won’t believe what I saw. There was a tiny face in the wax….a moving, functioning, flesh like face full of expression and life.
“Don’t take me out of here!”
“I said, don’t take me out of this room!”
“What do you mean?” I have to take you out. You’re a candle. Your job is to give light. It’s dark out there.”
“But you can’t take me out. I’m not ready,” the candle explained with pleading eyes, “I need more preparation.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “More preparation?”
“Yeah, I’ve decided I need to research this job of light-giving so I won’t go out and make a bunch of mistakes. You’d be surprised how distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be……..”
“All right then,” I said. “You’re not the only candle on the shelf. I’ll blow you out and take the others!” But just as I got my cheeks full of air, I heard other voices.
“We aren’t going either!”
…….I turned around and looked at the three other candles…….”You are candles and your job is to light dark places!”
‘Well, that may be what you think.” Said the candle on the far left………”You may think we have to go, but I’m busy……….I’m meditating on the importance of light. It’s really, well…………very enlightening”……………..
“And you other two,” I asked, ‘are you going to stay in here as well?”
A short, fat, purple candle with plump cheeks that reminded me of Santa Claus spoke up. “I’m waiting to get my life together. I’m not stable enough.”
The last candle had a female voice, very pleasant to the ear. “I’d like to help,” she explained. “but lighting the darkness is not my gift…..I’m a singer. I sing to other candles to encourage them to burn more brightly.”
……she began a rendition of “This Little Light of Mine”…….the other three joined in, filling the storage room with singing………I took a step back and considered the absurdity of it all. Four perfectly healthy candles singing to each other about light but refusing to come out of the closet.
One thing I like with Lucado is that he uses words and pictures to make you see. But I guess you’re beginning to get the point aren’t you?
So many reasons, so many excuses yet instead of Christians who are called to be light of the world go out there and show light and warmth you have them bunched together worrying about their own petty little things, confined in their petty little worlds.
Let me add 4 more candles I know:
The first is the Legalist candle. – They don’t want to do their jobs because according to them, “the world deserves their darkness. Let judgement come to them.” The second is the Scholar candle – spends most of his time in the library poring over voluminous books. Still understanding the true meaning of darkness in Greek and Hebrew. The third is the Talented candle – She sings only to a select crowd. Her favorite songs are: “You light up my life” and “Come On Baby Light My Fire…..” And then there is the Gracious candle – He lets his life be burned and used up to bring light to a dark and cold world.
Question: When was the last time you presented the gospel to someone? Are you scared to be the light-giver that God has created you to be? Pray today that God would bring you opportunities to share your faith and give you the courage to take them. Now step out in faith and keep your eyes open!
So let your light so shine so that the world may see your good deeds and glorify god who is in heaven.
 GOD CAME NEAR, MAX LUCADO