The Candle Journey

by Joanna Pierce on January 02, 2019

I claimed it was my entire life, but realistically it was only as far back as I could remember. Traveling yearly to visit relatives in Richmond, Indiana, I’d gaze out the window at all the places we’d never stop. Our goal was to get from A to B without detours or any/elongated bathroom breaks.

Close to the end of our journey, there was a majestic candle store on the right-hand side of the road. Outside, it had the largest candle I’d ever seen topped with a bright yellow flame. What would it be like to see it up-close and in-person? It was for that reason I had always wanted to visit what our family would dub the “candle place.”

Fast forward to a measly 2 years ago. I was on a business trip to Columbus, OH, traveling down the same I-70 East, with 2 other colleagues in the car. The same awe and excitement sprung across my face as I stopped mid-sentence and gazed out the window. Confused, my colleagues turned to see the quickly approaching candle. I sputtered something about having never been my entire life…

Before I knew it, the rental car was screeching off the interstate heading toward the “candle place.” My co-worker proclaimed a detour and sped (literally) toward the entrance to the candle outlet store.

When we arrived, I got out of the car, and stood before the impressive structure. I was standing in a place I never thought I’d be. After longing for years (and years) my dream had come true. I had imagined this moment over and over again, but nothing could have prepared me for the real experience. The moment I stepped inside, the store was more spectacular than I’d ever hoped it could be.

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (II Corinthians 4:18, KJV).

Our Christian journey is kind of like my “candle place” voyage. The store (and yes, I realize it’s just a store) was something I only had glimpses of year after year. In my mind’s eye, I looked at (and hoped) what it could be. With just a glimpse, it was a landmark I long desired to see.

God tells us to seek and hope for the things which are above (Colossians 3:1–2) and to lay up our treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19–20). Occasionally we see glimpses of glory on earth; it’s just enough to keep us longing for Heaven.

If Heaven is our ultimate destination, and we truly long for it day-by-day and year-after-year, we can’t just earnestly hope to eventually visit the Promise Land. If we’re not careful, we’ll allow ourselves to watch Heaven approach out the window of our busy lives without being intentional in making it an official stopping place. We need to ensure our vehicle makes it to those pearly gates!

We’ve just begun a New Year, and it’s time to get with God and make a plan. Let God guide your journey toward the right roads, right people, and right places. Allow God’s will to manifest in your life to ensure you’ve got Heaven on your roadmap. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you can make it!

And the best part? When we finally exit our corruptible body, Heaven won’t be like anything we could have imagined with our earthly minds. We’ll be in an awe-like wonder for all eternity. (It will even be better than my “candle place.”) Starting now, have a desire to make it. Even if you have to wait your entire life, the Promise Land will be well worth the wait.