…My grace is sufficient for you…2 Corinthians 12:9
I read an article once about a family that had a special tradition. Each time someone got something new, they had to give something away to make room for it. To tell you the truth, I thought that sounded a little crazy at first. As the days passed and I continued to think about that family, I realized that they understood the concept of “enough”.
We live in a world that has us programmed for bigger, better, faster, easier and over the top. It seems like those concepts apply to everything from the size of our living room TV to the speed of our technology. It’s no wonder we as a society have lost track of the concept of “enough” and have become a restless people. We worry about investments, savings accounts, college funds and retirement plans. The pressure of getting, keeping and managing all of our “stuff” is stressful! I’d like to suggest that we all “back up the truck” and think for a minute about enough.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul was trying to explain that God and His loving grace is sufficient, or enough. When we make our list of what we need or what we want, how often do we remember to take inventory of God’s graces and blessings? Do we need 15 pairs of shoes, 20 outfits and a bigger TV, or do we have enough? Could it be that what we really need is to spend more time building a relationship with the Father and trusting in His goodness, compassion and grace? Do you suppose a bigger chunk of our day spent connecting with God will make us more successful and comfortable than money and things?
God loves us and wants us to be happy, but He doesn’t want us to lose track of the important things in life. He is the designer of generosity and He wants to bless us with good things, but He encourages us to trust in Him and realize that He is enough…the rest will fall into place as long as we have Him.
A seed to plant: Make a list of the things you have “enough” of, then find ten things you have more than enough of and share them with those who don’t have enough.
Blessings on your day!
Yet, oh Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of Your hands. Isaiah 64:7
I can close my eyes and see it sitting there on the top shelf of the cupboard above the plates and cereal bowls. I couldn’t reach it, so it was always someone else’s job to put it away after I had carefully dried it. It was a turquoise blue, glass casserole dish, the only one my mom had, and it was something she treasured. My dad gave it to her for Christmas, and if she pulled it out to use for supper, I knew she was going to be making something special. One day when I was about ten, I came home from school and Mom was on her way to a meeting. She asked me to put the casserole dish in the oven at 5 o’clock. I felt so important! I quickly raced to the kitchen and peeked under the glass lid to see what she had assembled inside the dish…it was beautiful; it looked like something you’d see in a cookbook picture. Well, the appointed time had come, I opened the oven door, and as I lifted the casserole dish up to slide it into the oven, it slipped right out of my hands, crashed to the floor, and shattered into pieces. I didn’t even consider the fact that I had just ruined supper. I just felt awful about breaking her casserole dish.
I managed to clean up the mess before Mom got home, and I even began to prepare a “plan B” supper. However, the hardest task of all was to hand Mom that collection of broken glass. She stared at it in silence for a moment, asked me if I was OK and then said, “Well, now it’s time to get creative. Your dad and brothers will be hungry, and it’s almost time to eat.” That was it…no scolding, no lecture, no disappointed glance, it was just time to get creative and move on. It was one of those events that just stuck with me.
A year ago, I was at a teachers meeting and the speaker said, “God loves broken vessels!” My mind immediately rushed back to our kitchen in Hoyt, Kansas, when I was ten staring down at that mangled mess of turquoise-colored glass and casserole. My mom’s words echoed in my mind, “It’s time to get creative.”
We are each lovingly and perfectly crafted vessels made precisely by the hands of a compassionate potter. When we sin, it’s as if our vessels become chipped or cracked or leaky. I don’t know about you, but I’ve managed to put some real “dings” in my vessel over the years. If you get a crack or a leak in your favorite mug or dish, it no longer functions the way it was intended to. When we sin, we drift a bit from the Father’s love and, just like that broken vessel, we don’t function quite the way we were intended to either. Luckily, we are more valuable than mugs without a handle or casserole dishes broken into dozens of pieces. The Father is never going to throw us out! Instead, he uses our weakness to demonstrate His strength. If we have a chip or a leak, He invites us to come to Him and give Him a chance to restore us; to make us strong and purposeful again. He is the potter that created us. We are the work of His hands. So, if we need to be restored and have our purpose renewed, all we have to do is ask Him, and He will create us anew…as many times as we need it! God loves broken vessels because they require His strength, and any time we give Him the opportunity to show His strength by admitting our weakness,
A seed to plant: Identify a chip or a leak in your vessel, and ask God to strengthen and restore that imperfection in your life. Pick a different one tomorrow and a new one after that but don’t forget to make a list of the blessings you receive as the potter lovingly restores your vessel.
Blessings on your day!
He has made everything beautiful in its time…Ecclesiastes 3:11
What is the most beautiful thing you can think of? I’m guessing things like sunsets, rainbows, ocean views, mountain tops and of course flowers and babies would be on the list. When we see the beautiful things God created for our enjoyment, it’s easy to recognize His presence in the world. Some of His color, design and absolute genius take our breath away and it’s easy to remember to acknowledge, praise and thank Him when we’re surrounded by some of His beautiful and amazing work. That’s just the way it should be, but what about looking for God in the ordinary stuff of life as well as the majestic and beautiful?
God is the God of the ordinary. He is always waiting to surprise us around every corner, but sometimes we’re so busy looking for Him in the big stuff, we miss Him in the little stuff. God doesn’t always bless us in huge dynamic ways, sometimes His blessings come in quiet, ordinary situations. Last weekend Dave and Kevin were hauling the cattle trailer back from MSU
and the truck just absolutely died; no warning, just completely conked out. YUCK! That was one of those situations that can really test your patience. But, in the middle of that ordinary situation, God was waiting with a blessing, the truck broke down on the way home, with no cattle or show supplies and equipment to worry about and the completely cool part of the situation, the truck conked out about 100 yards from our driveway. The Wohlfert’s were quite thankful for His choice of location!
God doesn’t want us to speak with Him just when we see big, beautiful and amazing stuff. He wants to hear from us as we stand smack dab in the middle of the everyday ordinary stuff that makes up our day to day life. He wants us to realize He’s waiting for us in the middle of the regular! How many people can you pray for when you fold a load of laundry? How many times can you call down God’s blessing upon your family as you pack their lunch or prepare dinner? How many times does your heart ache when you call to mind someone who is sick or suffering? Why not lift them up in prayer by name every time you wash dishes or sweep the garage. That stuff is a huge part of our everyday life, ask God to meet you there!
The next time I see a sunset or feel the cool rain on a hot, dusty day, I’ll be sure to thank God, but I will try equally hard to thank Him and chat with Him when I try to match up whichever socks the dryer hasn’t eaten or scrub petrified syrup off the breakfast table. I hope today is an ordinary day because God can make EVERYTHING beautiful…and I can't wait to see how many places I can find Him in my ordinary!
A seed to plant: Pick three things you see or use often (cell phone, car keys etc.). Make up a short little prayer you can say each time you use that ordinary object. Perhaps you could pray before sending or answering a call or text on your cell phone, “Lord, please make my words pleasing to Your ears.” Or before starting your car you might pray, “Lord, let this trip bring me
closer to You.” The possibilities are endless. Imagine how something as ordinary as making a call could increase the number of times in a day you speak with your Father. Maybe you could post some of your objects and the prayers you created to go with them.
Blessings on your day!
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