Our procrastinator tendency is to put off doing something when we feel inadequate. Considering that, I recall an illustration that has meant a great deal to me over the years. A friend shared this from the church he attended:
At the end of his sermon, the pastor held up two items. One was a greasy, dirty crystal goblet. The other item was an empty, clean peanut butter jar.
He asked, “Which of these would you rather drink out of?”
What about you?
It doesn’t matter how fancy we are, how well-trained or educated, how lovely or unique – if we’re dirty, we are not vessels available for use. The crystal goblet was beautiful under the crud. But it wasn’t available for use.
The peanut butter jar was a plain, ordinary everyday thing of no particular beauty. It was nothing special in anybody’s eyes. But it was clean and available for use.
We are tempted to think our usefulness comes from our training or education, our experience, our appearance or other “meritorious” qualifications people admire. But God says our usefulness comes from a clean heart held out to Him.
Being clean doesn’t mean we’re perfect or have never sinned. It means Jesus’s blood makes us clean. It means we go to Him continually for forgiveness and repentance. The peanut butter jar may have scooped dirt or held bugs, but it was cleaned. It was available.
Surely, the boy in Matthew 14 did not think his lunch was sufficient. Still, with a giving heart he held his five loaves and two fishes in an open hand and offered them to Jesus. “Here, sir. I have these. You can have them.” What if he had not held out his lunch? Or the disciples had not mentioned the meager loaves and fishes? We might have missed a miracle!
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5-6.
So often we think we have to “do it all” to be sufficient. The needs of a person, a family, a project are great and I’m not equipped to meet them. No, but I can be a clean available peanut butter jar to hold a drink of water. I can take a casserole, write a note, listen over coffee, set up chairs, or give a ride. Jesus is the sufficiency.
The Lord wants an “only-a-just-a” peanut butter jar. Lord, make me clean and available!
Are you holding something back from availability? What do you have that you can offer with a clean available heart?
Lord, I have _______________ You can have them.