VESSELS OF HONOR
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:7, NLT). The year was 1905. It was the year of an amazing discovery. The largest uncut diamond ever mined was found in South Africa. The enormous stone weighed in at over 3,100 carats! It was eventually cut into nine large stones and about one hundred smaller ones. The largest, called the “Star of Africa”, is over 530 carats and now resides in the crown jewels collection of the British royalty. There was great concern about how to safely transport this rare and priceless stone to Britain from South Africa. After much deliberation a diversionary tactic was approved. A large group of security personnel accompanied a decoy shipment to London. However, the actual gem was shipped in a plain brown box by parcel post. Who would suspect such an unassuming package might contain untold wealth!
This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves."
Sometimes we forget. Sometimes circumstances and those around us help us forget our role as God’s stewards but we must remember. The value of a person isn’t determined by what we see on the outside. It is human nature to measure others and ourselves by what is seen on the outside; but this is wrong. God, however, sees beyond exteriors. We may see and even feel like “jars of clay” but our Creator sees much more. The “container” is deceptive. It contains no glory. The inestimable value resides inside. Some containers may appear to be cracked, broken and disabled but each one is precious to Him. Each one has enormous potential and often has untapped potential. He sees beyond our brokenness. Our God has placed inside each person a desire for something more—a craving to be part of something bigger and greater than a meaningless day-by-day existence. That’s what a true understanding of stewardship brings. This issue of the Dynamic Steward isn’t a call for pity or sympathy for those whom society often calls “the disabled.” Rather it is meant to be a statement that while some may have what we call disabilities, these are “persons” of inestimable worth who have much to contribute to the mission of God. We must not stand in the way of their calling to contribute by our avoidance, by our neglect, nor by our attitudes that think only in terms of limitations. Those with “special needs” are just that—special persons who do have a real need to be part of something bigger than themselves. They too are vessels of honor. We must not forget that we are all clay jars waiting to be filled to overflowing. All of us are called to be vessels of honor—vessels filled with the grace of Christ not for our own survival but to be part of something much bigger. We must extend that opportunity to all. This too is part of our stewardship.