I remember going to a birthday party as a little girl, where the cake was so beautiful, the mother of the birthday girl didn’t want to cut it. Presumably she’d had it made and perhaps it was expensive. I must have been seven or eight and, at that age, cutting the birthday cake was one of the highlights of any birthday party. I was not the only guest to be bitterly disappointed.
I am ambivalent about gifts of fine china. Should one keep them safe so they don’t get broken, or use them for their intended purpose? I have done both. When my grandchildren were babies, my daughter and I covered one of their feet in ceramic glaze and imprinted footprints onto china bisque-ware. My first grandchild’s footprints were on a sugar bowl which was fired and the prints made permanent. I happily filled my sugar bowl with sugar and thought about my adorable granddaughter every time I used it. One day it fell. A piece broke off from one side and a crack appeared in the other. Out came all the sugar and the sugar bowl now sits on my highest shelf with the jagged hole facing the back. On either side are milk jugs (which have never been used) adorned with the footprints of two subsequent grandchildren. I hardly ever look at them.
For Christmas my daughter made my husband and I Granny and Grampa mugs with our favourite Bible verses painted on them. Every morning I have been drinking my first coffee of the day in my mug and enjoying it. I thought about my daughter and occasionally the Scripture verse. (Philippians 4:13) Today the mug slipped off the tray my husband was carrying and broke.
I do not regret the choice I made. I have been enjoying that mug so much more than if I had put it away to keep it safe. The memory will always be there.
It is all a matter of weighing up the risks and the rewards.
I think God had to weigh up the risks and rewards when He decided to entrust us with His gospel. Paul says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God…,” Clay jars break easily. God could have entrusted His kingdom to angels to proclaim but He chose to use us because the rewards were worth the risks to Him. Yes, there is a chance that we might fail, that we might mess up. God was willing to take the risk for the reward of working together with us, His beloved children to fulfill his purposes.
Father God, You know exactly how fragile I am, that I am just dust. Thank You for the privilege of being Your child. Thank You for letting me be part of Your great plan to redeem the world. I want to get to know You more as You work in me to will and to do your good pleasure. Amen.