Jesus – A Box – A Jar of Clay – and a Blessing
In my vision, I saw Jesus standing in Heaven. Awestruck, I fell at His feet to worship Him. He spoke my name and asked me to look up at Him. I raised my head and saw He held in His right hand a box and in His left a jar of clay. Each had my name inscribed on it.
I asked, “Lord what are those things You hold that bear my name.” He smiled and said, “This box holds every prayer and petition you ever brought to the Father in My Name. Not one went unheard—all have been kept. The jar of clay holds every tear you ever cried in times of sorrow and despair. Not one hit the ground—all were caught by Me, and I poured them into this jar that bears your name.”
When I asked Him why, He answered, “We wanted you to see – what you find so hard to trust – that We are looking out for you every second of every minute of every day of your life spent with Me. No prayer unheard—no tear unnoticed. All safely reached the heart of your Father and My pierced hands.
So when you wake up from this dream, remember what you saw, recount it to your brothers and sisters in Christ, and remind them your Heavenly Father loves you to death – My death- and nothing in your lives escapes His notice. He has inscribed you on the palm of His mighty hand. Your walls are ever before Him. And I sit at His right hand interceding unceasingly for you until you are ushered safely Home.”
Thank you, Father God, thank you sweet Jesus for hearing every prayer, catching every tear, and giving us Your Holy Spirit to live and love like Jesus every day until you bring us to our true Home. Amen
The Spires’ Thanksgiving weekend was unique this year, to say the least. My wife came down with a virus Wednesday night that took her out of action for a few days. I was asked to teach the homeless chapel at Nashville Rescue Mission Friday night due to a late speaker cancellation. I am always delighted to do that, so I spent much of Friday preparing the message for these men.
It is always an interesting crowd of hundreds of men. There are those with thankful hearts for all NRM affords them when they are hungry and cold – especially around holidays. NRM does such a great job extending the heart of God for men and women to meet their physical and spiritual needs.
While I am learning not to take it too personally, some men snore loudly through my messages. Finally, there are those whose looks toward the podium remind me I am standing between them and their bunks for the night! (I always speak shorter than the allotted time.)
So I do not have any family pics to post this year, but I am a thankful man on all fronts. My wife is better. We finally ate a make-up lunch of “new leftovers” with part of the family.
Perhaps the most meaningful thing this Thanksgiving season for me was this. I got to spend time with some of God’s humblest men— reminding them of His love for them no matter where they are or what they have done in the past —reminding me (again) how much I have to be thankful for.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was fun. To celebrate a couple of family birthdays, in addition to breaking a little bread together, we went bowling. I confess it was my idea, and I have no idea why. As I sat staring down the highly waxed hardwood lane, my memory recalled something amazing. I am pretty sure we had not taken our kids bowling since they were young. So something seemed missing from this picture. Then it came to me: Gutter Guards!
When the kids were young, to keep from turning fun into frustration (and tears for our youngest), we used lanes that had gutter guards down the entire length of the lane. No matter how badly you rolled the ball, it would eventually hit a pin or two.
Before dawn this morning as my thoughts turned to the Lord, the remembrance of that family fun brought to mind a different connotation. Life is very hard sometimes. We do the best we can to keep it “on the hardwood and out of the gutters.” But the truth is we only need to glance at the news, around our cities and neighborhoods, and even our own circumstances to know that gutter balls happen. And, in life, there is no automatic ball return that always let’s us try it again.
While the analogy the Spirit brought to mind may trouble some, I am going to share it anyway. Life gets hard whether or not we are Christians. The difference is this. As Christians, we have two “life gutter guards” upon which we must rely to keep it on the “hardwoods”.
The Word of God and The Holy Spirit
It seems silly, even foolish, to have the revealed heart of God and mind of Christ from His Word at our fingertips and infinite Power just a prayer away and not use them. Why are so many content to keep on rolling it by themselves—hoping to keep it in the middle and out of gutters? Let these two verses remind and comfort you before you roll the next one.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119: 105 NASB)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you... (Acts 1: 8a ESV)
I confess I rolled a couple of gutter balls the other night. It was my turn to wish we had the gutter guards up. Dad did not win!