The original lyrics of “Candle in the Wind” referred to Marilyn Monroe. The song was written by Bernie Taupin who was inspired by the words of the title, referring to Janis Joplin. He saw Marilyn as a metaphor for all those who enjoy fame but then die young. More familiar is the later version by Elton John, done as a tribute to Princess Diana. But both versions have the same concluding lines: “Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did.”
Today’s verse reminds the believer that residing in him is the Holy Spirit (verse 7). He Himself is an undeserved gift as are His fruit and His spiritual gifts for service. The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was likened to tongues of fire coming to rest on each of the believers (Acts 2:3). Paul encourages Timothy to fan the flame of this gift of the Spirit. We know this flame is being fanned when we are not timid about our faith. We know this flame is burning brighter when we see power, love and self-disciple in our lives (verse 7).
These legendary icons will live on for a time but eventually burn out. What an assurance to know that there is no such fate for the Spirit of God in me! His flame is eternal and He has given me eternal life as well. But while here, I want my light to shine, not for my own glory but for His! I need His power to be bold for Him. I need His love when loving is difficult. And I need His help with self-discipline when I feel out of control!
Thank you Lord, for the flame of Your Spirit.