Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vessels of Hope

Writers of themes about faith raise questions about belief and experience. Readers, too, search for meaning and want reliability: What is true? What or whom can I count on? These questions arise often in times of monumental decision or inescapable suffering. 
     My attention stopped upon hearing a Christian sum up the life of a friend that had recently died: "He was a vessel people could talk to." That gives pause for thoughts about what matters in life. 
     In tough times, we think more about God, and even those not sure what they believe hope that Someone is listening. God is, and he is the Potter of the vessels that are his people, people like clay (Jeremiah 18). God works with them to make them into strong vessels of grace. The divine Potter knows each piece of clay's weak and vulnerable places. He intends to strengthen, reinforce, and reshape it. 
     Beryl Adamsbaum's book, Seeking God's Face, mentions the Apostle Paul's suffering. and his prayers, which God answered this way:   

Apostle Paul is a giant of the church, a man of fierce questions and devotion to God, and Beryl said, "If God's grace was sufficient for Paul, it is also sufficient for you today.His power is still 'made perfect in weakness.' "Paul understood this, and it led him to utter that confident cry of victory and triumph:

The man I heard described as "a vessel  people could talk to" had suffered much over the death of his son. That earthly dad, a believer in Jesus Christ, allowed God to help him. God overcame sorrow's torments and made the man a consoler whom others could talk to in their afflictions. 
     In her book, Beryl spotlighted God's available strength for weak vessels threatened by the stresses of loss and pain, writing: "This same strength is available to you in your weakness. Can you echo these triumphant, victorious, confident, glorious words of the Apostle Paul? Is this same experience yours? If not, it can be."

Source of quoted passages: Adamsbaum, Beryl. Seeking God's Face, Chapter 10, "Spring Will Come." Link page in French and English.

Copyright (c) 2009-2013 Jean Purcell's Opinari ~think, reason, believe 

No comments:

Post a Comment