Our Heavenly Father has similar goals for our lives. He wants the flame of our life to be visible to those around us and He wants us to burn up for Him, not burn out.
Your are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; ~Matthew 5:14, 16
Originally, the whole purpose of candles was to illuminate the darkness. We're to be doing that, too, but we can't be effective if our flame is obscured by walls of unused wax. That's when the paring knife needs to come out to trim down the wax. Sure it changes the candle's appearance, many times leaving it much less appealing, but if the end goal is to illuminate the darkness, that's what needs to happen.
Too many times we're so concerned with having a visually appealing candle that we don't worry about how long the wicks last. If they get a little too long and start to smoke, we just trim the wick, without thinking about the burn time we're losing. God goes about it differently. He trims the wax and drops the shavings into the melted wax pool to raise the wax level, not worrying about the outward appearance. He wants the wick to burn all the wax.
But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. ~Philippians 2:17
I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls...
~2 Corinthians 12:15
Have you ever noticed that the unburned wax of the candle ends up being an empty shell that hides the flame? What's the whole point of the candle? The wax or the flame? If it's the wax, then we're right to worry about the shell that's left unburned. If it's the flame, then we need to allow the work of the paring knife and feed the wax to the wick, making sure the wax burns so it doesn't obstruct the light of the flame.
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. ~Philippians 2:13
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16
Heavenly Father, help us to burn up for You, not burn out...