A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves, he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.
They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.
He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!
Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.
Then it struck him. He had been on the beach for a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls, with their hidden treasure, into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands but he had just thrown it away!
It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.
There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.
Meditation: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. – 2 Corinthians 4:7
You will succeed in Jesus Name!
A teacher asked her students to bring some tomatoes in a plastic bag to school. Each tomato was to be given the name of a person whom that child hates. So, the number of tomatoes would be equal to the number of persons they hate.
On a pre-determined day, All the children brought their tomatoes well addressed. Some had two, some had three and some had five, some even had 20 tomatoes in accordance with the number of people they hated.
The teacher then told them they had to carry the tomatoes with them everywhere they go for two weeks.
As the days passed the children started to complain about the decay and smell of the tomatoes. The students who had many tomatoes complained it was very heavy to carry and the smell was too much.
After a week, the teacher asked the students “How did you feel this week?” The children complained of the awful smell and heavy weight of the tomatoes, especially those who carried several tomatoes.
The teacher said, “This is very similar to what you carry in your heart when you don’t like some people. Hatred makes the heart unhealthy and you carry that hatred everywhere. If you can’t bear the smell of spoilt tomatoes for a week, imagine the impact of bitterness on your heart as you carry it daily.”
The heart is a beautiful garden that needs regular cleaning of unwanted weeds.
Forgive those who have angered you. This makes room for storing good things.
Get better, not bitter.
You will succeed in Jesus Name!
Meditation: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15
One day a local evangelist bragged during a crusade that his God was more powerful than all the other gods in the town and the powers that the villagers worshiped put together. Just then, rainstorm started sounding overhead, threatening the progress of the crusade.
The evangelist lifted up his voice and declared with confidence that if the rains fell, then he wasn’t a man of God; he would stop preaching. Before he finished speaking, the rains began to hit the crusade grounds so vehemently, without regard to his declarations. The whole town left the crusade ground for their houses, shaking their heads in dismay.
The evangelist, so distraught and angry, packed his belongings and left the town the next day. On his way through the next town, he checked into a local bar and drank himself to stupor. As he laid on the ground cursing God, an old seedy looking man tapped him gently on the shoulder.
“Man of God”, the old man began. But the evangelist quickly cut in, “Don’t mention the name of God to me. He is fake. He is unreliable. I am no longer a believer in this God. A God who chooses to disgrace his servants. Leave me alone!”
But the old man would not let him be. He continued, ”I am the fetish priest in the village you preached yesterday. During your one week stay in my village, you destroyed all the charms I had made on the people for 45 years. Your prayers and your words always came with some fearful fire and power. I tried so many times to eliminate you but I couldn’t. My last chance came yesterday. I had loaded my gun with gunpowder lying in wait on the mountaintop where I had a very clear view of you.
My plan was to shoot you from a distance since I couldn’t get close enough to you due to the fire around you. But just when I lifted the gun, the rains came from nowhere, wetting my gunpowder and covering you in a cloud so that I couldn’t even see you. All I saw was a bright man holding a sword in front of you.
I was so terrified. I concluded that your God was indeed all-powerful and Almighty. That is why I’ve been looking for you since then. I want to follow this your God!”
The ex-evangelist bowed his head in shame.
Sometimes, it is just wise for us to believe that our Father knows the way He is taking us. We should just trust His leading. Let our boast be in the Lord, not in ourselves. If we decree a thing and it doesn’t happen, let us not see it as disappointment or dishonour from the Father. Let us just believe that the Father wants His perfect will to be done in all things.
Meditation: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
You will succeed in Jesus Name!