God placed an idea in one woman’s head, she prayed about it, and it turned into a vision, and with the help of a few other women that vision was made manifest at a tea party where a Women’s Ministry was launched!
I was asked to give a short motivational talk which I was delighted to do…John Ford once said “You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart” and one of my heart’s messages is for us to grow closer to other women in community.
I want to share a story, which I am sure you have all heard before, but it bears repeating.
There was a man who lived in an African village and his dwelling was situated a few 100 meters from a river. Every morning he hooked two buckets on to the ends of a pole which he then carried on his shoulders. He would walk down to the river, fill them up and return home.
The bucket on the right had a slow leak so always arrived back at the house half full. The other bucket never spilt a drop. The bucket that leaked became slowly more and more depressed till finally the man asked it what was wrong, and the bucket poured out how depressed it was. It was broken and leaked and couldn’t do the job for which it had been made.
It felt useless and unworthy.
The man gently picked the bucket up and took it to the front door and said: “Look…do you see that beautiful row of flowers and plants all the way on one side of the path down to the river. They give so much joy to all who walk along the path. I deliberately chose you because I knew you had a leak. I planted seeds all along the one side of the path and I always place you on the same shoulder so that when I walk back you water the plants. Just look at the beauty you have helped create”.
I am going to ask you a question and want you to hold on to the very first thing that comes to mind. Don’t change it to something else.
The question is: “If you were an item of pottery, what would you be?”
Isaiah 64:8 says: “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all formed by your hand.”
I have this wonderful image of God, before any of us were born, lovingly choosing pieces of clay from which He formed us. As He worked, He prayed unceasingly over us. He spoke words of love, encouragement, joy and kindness into our lives. He put so much thought into the making of us.
Jeremiah 18:6 says: “As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand”.
Once God was finished shaping us, He allowed us to dry and then He had fun painting and decorating us with beautiful designs and vibrant colors. He then placed us in the oven to bake and kept a close eye on us to ensure that the heat didn’t damage us.
We have all been created individually by God. Some of us are plates, some cups, some bowls, some jugs, some of us are egg or teaspoon holders. It doesn’t matter what we are. We all have two things in common: the fact that we were created by Him and the fact that we can all hold or contain something that can be poured out.
It says exactly that in Ephesians 2:10: ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’
I know that there are many of us here today who have experienced deep hurt, pain and loneliness and believe that we are not worthy.
We feel uncomfortable and feel that we don’t fit in.
Psalm 139 states that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Often all we can see are the imperfections, but God sees us as containers to be filled with His love and blessings, that we in turn, can pour that love out to others.
We have to move and share ourselves with others otherwise the blessings inside us become stagnant.
Think about the item of pottery that came to mind when I asked you what you would be. Imagine how beautiful you look in God’s eyes because He is the One who created you. Because of our pasts, we may feel we have become imperfect and that we leak but just as the leaky bucket was used to water the plants, God uses each and every one of us to bring joy and love into the lives of others despite our imperfections.
We just need to spend time being filled up by Him, which we are doing this afternoon, and then we need to go share that love with a broken and hurting world.
I pray that through this Women’s Ministry we will water and nurture each other and bring beauty and love into each other’s lives to the glory of God.