The Beauty is in the Treasure
Read: Exodus 3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:6-10
I have two sets of measuring cups. That's convenient because I have been known to abandon one of the cups in the flour or sugar, and it is helpful to simply grab the missing size from the other set. One of the sets is made out of plastic, and the other is constructed out of metal. Even though I have had them for years, both sets are in relatively good condition. That is, except for the plastic 1/2 cup measure. More about that later.
Last Sunday, the sermon we heard was built around 2 Corinthians 4:6-10. I love that passage. Such a good reminder for me that God is so wondrous that He has chosen to first open my eyes to His truth and after that, He empowers me to share His light. This, in spite, of my weaknesses, inadequacies, flaws and sins. I so often need this reminder so that the focus of my mind will stay on God's work in and through me and not on what I lack. I am merely a treasure holder, and I serve at the pleasure of the One Who has chosen me, John 15:16. It is so easy to take my focus off of God and place it on myself.
No wonder I can so readily understand Moses' reticence when God called him from a simple life as a shepherd to be the children of Israel's liberator. I don't know for certain if Moses had merely become comfortable with his role or if he was truly feeling inadequate and unqualified. Whatever the case, Moses' eyes were on himself, rather than the greatness of God and the ministry the Lord was holding out to this reluctant one. Moses wasn't excited about the honor the Lord was giving him. Imagine being entrusted with the opportunity to lead the people out of bondage. Imagine being assured that because of God, the mission would be successful. Yet, Moses offered one excuse after another because his eyes were focused on himself. In Exodus 4, he even requested that God send someone else. For whatever reason, Moses had drawn a circle around himself, and he struggled to look beyond that small space.
Back to the measuring cup. One day, I was melting some butter in a pan in the oven. All was going well. That is, until I took the pan out of the oven, only to discover that the butter wasn't the only thing that was in that pan. Nestled in with the melted butter was my 1/2 cup plastic measuring cup. It was warped and a bit oddly shaped. However, the good news is that it still is useful for measuring. If you will, it is still fit to hold the treasure that needs to be spilled out into a bowl. The reason I haven't thrown it away is that the importance of the measuring cup lies not in its appearance but in the treasure that is poured out through it.
How about us? When you think of it, we have a mission even more amazing than Moses had. God has given us rich treasure, the Gospel which sets men and women free, not merely from temporary bondage, but also sets them free from eternal wrath, John 3:36; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20. We have also been entrusted with the treasure of one or more spiritual gifts that God has given us so that we can be a blessing to one another, 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. Such treasure.
Are we fragile treasure holders who have deficiencies and sometimes feel like Moses did? Yes, we are. Do we sometimes feel like we have been melted by life's unpleasant heat? Yes, we do. Yet, when we feel the most inadequate, we can remember Moses who, in spite of his reluctance, was used for a great deliverance. Why? Because, the beauty is in the treasure that was poured out through his life. He was greatly used by the Lord, in spite of his shortcomings and imperfections. It can be the same for us.
Another wonderful thing is that each of us who belong to Jesus is a treasure holder. When we see weaknesses in our brothers and sisters, what a good time to remind ourselves that they have been given the same treasures that we enjoy. Maybe it can be a time to pray for them and thank God that He pours out His treasure through flawed people like us and them. How gracious He is to use each of us.