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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

There Has Got To Be More

  I have just finished reading the book, There Has Got To Be More by Melissa Eby. Seldom do I read a book, "for fun" that speaks so loudly to me. 

     The story tells how Reuben and his wife Mary Ann bought a farm and poured themselves into building it up, about the time the farm began to prosper, they began thinking, "Is this all there is to life? Working as hard as we can just so we can buy what we desire, or as the author said, "Working so we can buy a new truck, then working so we can buy our 18 year old son a new truck so the next generation feels they need a new truck. Is this really what God wants from his children?" As much as I would like to deny that we live such a lifestyle, I know how stealthily my wants can become needs and before I know it, I am fretting instead of being thankful.

  The couple prayed, asking God for direction and he called them to serve at Faith Mission Children's Home, a home for mentally and physically handicapped children. A week before they were to leave, Reuben lost part of his leg in a farm accident. They were advised to give up their mission work but they felt that, even though they now had an excuse to stay home and live a more comfortable life, God still wanted them to go and serve.

   As the years passed they were called to serve in various countries and always, God used Reuben's handicap to speak to the people they were ministering to. 

    In 2010 when an earthquake devastated Port Au Prince, Haiti, many people lost limbs. Reuben and Mary Ann went to a hospital asking to speak with the patients but they were turned away because  so many reporters were trying to get inside to photograph the pain and suffering the people were experiencing. When Reuben showed the administrator his prosthesis however, the couple was welcomed with open arms.

   The patients were discouraged, some refusing to eat because they wanted to die. No one was able to reach them but when Reuben showed them that he to, was handicapped they listened. One patient said, "Healthy people try to tell us things will be okay but they don't have any experience. You are just like us, you know what it is like, you know the pain and suffering, so we know we can trust what you say."

  Reuben's testimony following that man's comment was, "God uses the broken to heal the broken. If we want to help other hurting people we must first be broken. Even Jesus had to be broken before he could offer us eternal life."

    Those words spoke to me, ingraining themselves upon my heart. This is one reason why Christians experience difficulties, we must be broken so we can meet the broken people of this world. We must be able to meet them on their level, showing them that there is hope and healing beyond brokenness and pain, we are living proof! What an awesome responsibility God has bestowed upon his children. Am I willing to embrace this calling, to do away with some of my wants so I can better meet the needs of the broken among us? Are you?

    

Broken Vessel
By Mark Edgemon

I began to clean the vase of Earthen shaped pottery,
That sat on my mantle throughout my life of days.
And when I did, it fell apart in my hands.
It couldn't take the pressure; weakened; so delicately made,
It's ruination was my misguided attempt to perfect it,
As I labored diligently to prepare it for use.

I mourned for the loss of my misshapen, clay vessel,
That had endured a multitude of nicks and cracks throughout my life,
As I continued working on it from my earliest days.
It reminded me of the pain of my youthful indiscretions
And the trials through my adult life, as the years rapidly whisked past me.
It represented everything I had become and thought I would ever be.

One day, broken and in pieces, I fearfully took it to the Creator
Asking, "Can you fix this? Do you have the power?"
In a word, He said, "Yes", then smashed it to my unexpected horror.
Confidently, He began grinding the shards of the pottery;
Pounding them furiously until there was only fine dust remaining. Unrecognizable.
I grieved for my loss, realizing for the first time that I WAS that vessel.

I asked myself, "Could He not have understood what I had wanted? Did He not care?"
Purposefully and with determination, he reconstituted the dust with living water;
Molding; shaping; reforming my former vessel with His healing Hands,
Until the pale, earthen vessel was reshaped. And then, He shoved it into an oven,
Surrounded it with heat no human could endure, but under His watchful Eye,
Until the new vessel brilliantly reflected it's Creator's Image...and now, so do I.
 
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