By: Kristin Overman
My grandfather passed away this past spring. As I stood by his coffin all I could think of was that he was not there. I was just looking at a vessel. That’s all we are, vessels. I thought of 2 Corinthians 4: 7-10 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves …always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body”. I like to know exactly what words mean. So I looked up the word vessel. People of the time had different types of vessels for different uses. This vessel was probably a clay pot of the cheapest kind. It was used for collecting trash, or excrement and used to transport and dispose of waste. Wow, Paul basically compares us to a trash can or a toilet! But, this cheap vessel with the most menial use holds a great treasure, the surpassing greatness of the power of God. In our weak and insignificant state God can use us. He uses us to hold the treasure of His power, and manifest the life of Jesus. That is incredible!
I am amazed sometimes that God would even consider using us to complete His work. He could do it by Himself. We mess up and sin so much. But yet He gives us the privilege of working with Him to accomplish His plans. There is such a privilege to serving on a mission trip. Yes, you can witness and serve others right where you are. But there is something about being out of your environment, routine, and comfort zone that brings you closer to God. My youth pastor always had this quote up,
“Be transformed by the uncomfortable or conformed by the comfortable”.
There is a special exercise of faith, a special reliance on Him, and an awesome awareness of His work in you and around you. You are aware that you are that weak vessel carrying the treasure of Christ.
That is why I decided to go on the Arkansas trip. I want to live my life as a vessel. I want to be of use to Him and carry the treasure of who He is to others. I especially want my children to know that we are vessels. We can be of no use, little use, or a lot of use to our Savior. I am thankful for the opportunity our church gave me to allow a family of three young boys on a mission trip. I mean, how helpful can a family with a four, three, and two year old be? I really wasn’t sure about us going.
Then in the car the other day my four year old tells his grandma, “We‘re going on a trip to Arkansas. It‘s a mission trip. We‘re going to swim but not a lot because we‘re going to help do VBS, so the kids can do VBS like I did. I‘m going to help daddy do snack and games.” He stopped for a second to think and then asked, “Am I going to be the teacher?” Well no he’s not going to be in charge and teach from the front of the room. But my four year old does understand that God is Holy, that he is not, and he is separated from God. He knows Jesus died on the cross to pay for his sins so that he can know God. He knows that God’s desire for his life is that he obey Him. So, yes, in his range of ability he can be a teacher. He can be a vessel and useful to His Master. God taught me that maybe a family of three boys all under five can be vessels for Him.