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The Three Candles
by Tim Manzer 
01/17/06
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When I began this journey, I was presented with the most precious gift, three candles. These were the candles of Faith, Hope, and Love. Everywhere on my path of life I went, they were a light to my path. I enjoyed their warmth and basked in the glow of their light.

As I traveled on this path of life, I faced many obstacles. There were mountains to climb: Sometimes I would run to the top of the mountain and rejoice in the glorious view. Then it was back to the valleys. In the valleys, I met many challenges, but I also had companions who walked with me, step by step, through every obstacle. And all along the way the candles— Faith, Hope, and Love— guided me.

Recently on a cool, clear, summer day, I encountered a raging whirlwind. It was upon me before I could react. It tossed me about with its winds of confusion and pain. I spun about in darkness from the whirlwind.

From within the whirlwind a mocking voice spoke— it laughed at my pain and confusion— it told me that there was no hope— it grabbed for my candle of hope. I screamed in sorrow as the candle blew out. The evil voice raged once again telling me that all was lost. I reached out for the candle of Faith and held on with all my strength. But the whirlwind spun harder and faster and my weak, broken hands could hold on no longer. The candle of Faith blew out.

The voice from within the whirlwind laughed heartily and said, "Give me the candle of Love!"

I shook with fear. Hopelessness and confusion swirled around in my mind, but at this darkest moment a mighty voice spoke to the whirlwind, "No. The candle of Love is not for you to take. Go away! This child is MINE!

Then He leaned down to this broken vessel and said, "Be calm, My child. Your journey is not over yet." He lifted up the candle of Love, still burning, and lit the candles of Hope and Faith again.

This is why I now stand and sing to others caught in hopelessness and despair:

"This little light of mine

I'm going to let it shine

This little light of mine

I'm going to let it shine

Won't let Satan blow it out

I'm going to let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine!"

~ Tim Manzer


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