We are created to love and be loved. We are handcrafted as “fragile clay jars containing a great treasure,” molded to perfectly house the Holy Spirit (2 Corin. 4:7). As vessels of this Spirit, we are made to be filled, but also to overflow.
When I first began following Christ, I was focused on my own need to be filled. I was broken; I needed a Savior. I was thirsty. I had no idea to what extent the Lord would one day ask me to be His vessel, to pour out the joy and peace I had found through Him onto others.
One of my favorite stories in Scripture is found in the book of Mark. It recounts the event of Jesus healing a paralyzed man. Turn with me to Chapter 2 verses 1 through 5.
I am absolutely enthralled by the actions of the men in this story. Not only do they carry their friend on a mat to this house, they don’t let the crowd stop them. They do something epic. They climb onto the roof, break open a skylight, and lower their friend right in front of Jesus. They are faithful friends. They see their brother’s inability, his paralysis, and do everything they can to get him to the feet of Jesus, something he cannot do on his own. Jesus goes on to tell some teachers of the law who doubt him that He has come as the Son of man to forgive sins. The paralyzed man rises and walks. They are all blown away.
Sometimes I’m that guy on the mat. Whether I have the desire or not, sometimes I am completely paralyzed and cannot bring myself before the feet of Jesus. In those moments of darkness, brokenness or paralysis, the Lord provides me with faithful brother and sisters to carry me, to pour into me, to fill me with the hope and peace of our Savior.
And sometimes I’m one of the people carrying a paralyzed friend. I’ve come to deeply enjoy and appreciate this role lately. It’s a beautiful way to honor what God has done in my life and how He has filled and moved me. It’s also a beautiful way to honor those who have carried me. It’s a way to thank the Lord and the people who have poured into me. It’s a beautiful exchange.
So I’ve been asking myself these two questions lately: Who is pouring into you? And who are you pouring into?
I spend lots of time with teenaged girls, as I am a Young Life leader at a local high school. I pray that in some small way I can carry them closer to the feet of Jesus. To be honest, I feel as if they have taught me way more about faithfulness, servitude, and divine joy that I could ever wish to teach them. But I also hope that my past experiences—my mistakes, my pain, my darkness—as well as the ways in which the Lord has redeemed all of that, can be poured out onto them as a testament to God’s all-powerful sovereignty in our lives.
More and more the Lord is revealing to me how worth it my darkest seasons truly are. If He puts me through painful paralysis so that I may in turn be a vessel for His Kingdom work in other girls’ hearts, then it is not in vain. I find no greater joy than to follow the Lord’s commands and pick up my cross and carry my friends, just as they carry me. I stand in reverence before a God who continually provides faithful servants as His hands and feet here on earth.
Light is not light unless it shines forth. If we “hide it under a bushel,” we are hoarding God’s redeeming love, and then our faith burns out.
Fire is not fire unless it gives warmth. If we don’t radiate His Spirit, our own hearts will grow cold.
A vessel is not truly a vessel if it does not become filled to overflow. That is what we are created to do.
Lord, I pray that You will give us the strength, the courage, and the heart to overflow, to find our way up on that roof, break open a skylight, and get our friends to the feet of Jesus, no matter the cost. Lord knows how many people have done it for me.
- Katy // @katethegrate_ful_