Broken Vessels

“Once,” the preacher said, “I was invited to speak in an institution for people with mental problems. While there I met a man whose main problem was that he was constantly afraid he wouldn’t get his next meal. Every time, after he finished a meal; be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, fear set in that the caretakers would not give him his next meal. Whatever the nurses would tell him, it was to no avail. He worried and worried some more.

But this man was locked up in an institution. However,” the pastor concluded, “shouldn’t we, as children of the King, be more sensible?”

Even though we have found faith in God and we know the Savior, still it seems we can all do better in the area of fear and worry. Worry is the enemy that we should not underestimate, but that we all encounter at one time or another.

If we truly believe, though, that God will take care of us and really is watching over us, then fear has no breeding ground and cannot possibly hatch.It’s why the Bible calls Jesus the Prince of Peace, for when Jesus comes in, peace will reign. The darkness will have to flee when the light enters.

What joy it is to experience the peace of heaven; when you know that God will not let you down and will never drop you. Like the security a young child in a healthy family feels when he is around his father.

And yet… we often fall prey to fear and worry. When the sun is shining and we walk through flower-strewn fields and the songbirds are flying over our heads, worry seems the last thing on our minds.

But then the storms break loose. The deafening thunder roars, the dazzling lightning blinds us and we run for shelter in desperation. But we do not always run to the Lord, but often try to carve out our own hiding places.

To hang on to our faith is often a battle of the mind. Our fears; and they are often inspired by our spiritual enemy, tell us to jump off the sinking ship. “Save yourself,” just as Job’s wife told her afflicted husband. “God doesn’t do a thing for you. Why don’t you curse God and die? We’ll all be better off without you.” With a wife like that you don’t need any enemies. But faith hangs on. Faith holds on to the crown and the promises of the One who cannot lie. “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:15) “I will supply your every need.” (Philippians 4:19)

If you were to analyze your fears you would only come to one final conclusion. In essence, our yielding to fear is no more than an expression of our doubts whether God will actually come through for us. We feel that it is high time to grab the steering wheel because God isn’t doing a good job in our lives. ‘He says he cares for us, but he actually doesn’t, because I can’t see it. God has forgotten me.”

Aren’t we all acquainted with such battles? It happens to the best of us, but the good news is that God understands.Our Father remains faithful and will not drop us. He understands. Psalm 103 should give us hope: “As a father has compassion on his children,so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;for he knows how we are formed,he remembers that we are dust.”

So God still looks after us. But the journey becomes a lot more unpleasant.

Stress is a real killer. It eats at you. It carves away your joy and makes the journey that should be filled with wonder and joy, into a dark voyage.

It’s the battle of faith. It’s part of what the Bible calls, ‘spiritual warfare.’ Just because you don’t see actual soldiers in the street who are fighting for every yard in an effort to push the enemy back, doesn’t mean we are not involved in a very real battle.

Closing your eyes to stress and fears and acting as if they are not there doesn’t help. We have to learn what it means to truly cast our cares at Jesus’ feet and truly trust.

It takes courage to let go of your problems and fears, just like it took courage the first time you stood on the high jump in order to dive down and you faced the water in the swimming pool that was way below.

Faith gives you the courage and faith grows by reading the Word and letting the Word fill your heart and being.

We do not live in perfect surroundings and we are still subject to our weaknesses and our sinful natures, but there is much we can do to make the journey as bright as possible.

Maybe our faith can be compared to the collecting of clean water in broken vessels. We are those broken vessels and when God fills us up we are full for awhile, but because we live in a broken world, our vessels are leak and before we know it, the water leaks out.

But that doesn’t have to be a problem. The best way to keep a broken vessel full of water is to constantly keep it under the running tap.

The living water of Jesus is always streaming, but we must take it in; every moment of every day, and then we will be filled to overflowing. Then we can feed others in spite of our brokenness and our journey will be a faith-filled travel into eternity. Trust in God, for what He has said, He will certainly also fulfill. Remember, He is the One who cannot lie.

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Koos Stenger

Hi. My name is Koos and I am from the Netherlands. I have known Jesus for about 40 years and lived as a missionary in several countries, like Brazil and South Africa. Recently I moved back to the Netherlands in order to write. My goal in life? I hope to help, inspire and strengthen others with the Good News of God's love. I have been married for 40 years and my wife and me have seven wonderful children. (and one dog) I pray my articles will be a blessing to you, dear reader. Warm greetings and God's blessing to you. Kind regards Koos

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