Do you ever not feel enough? Do you ever wonder how all the hopes and dreams inside you could ever happen, especially when you look at what’s occurring around you? Doors keep shutting, kids are needing, health is failing, your spouse is resisting, the bank account is depleting. Not enough. I have been there too.
Through a rabbit trail of thoughts today, God took me to pots. Yes, pots. There are pots all over the Bible. Who knew? Pots, jars, or vessels, were extremely important in Biblical times. They stored everything and were used daily. Imagine if we didn’t have Tupperware or Ziploc! That’s how important these pots were in the Bible. But did you know, Miracles happened using pots?
Check out the miracle in 2 Kings 4: 39-42. It involves a pot, some poison gourds and flour. Crazy stories in this Bible! This story in 2 Kings led me to another story involving a pot. A dear friend sent me this next piece of the text in a time when I needed encouragement. I had never heard of this passage before. Check out her ministry here: www.handsonhealingministries.com.
It’s a wild story so hang with me. I promise I have a point. In Genesis 15, God is spending time with his friend, Abram (who later becomes Abraham). Abram is childless and has left his stomping grounds and God makes him a promise: You will have a child and your descendants will be as numerous as the stars. Many of us have heard this story, but I want us to focus on what happens next. I am about to share some weird and gross details from this passage, but I promise they are important! After God promises these decendents to Abram, there is doubt. He says to God, What use are your gifts as long as I’m childless?” (vs2). Have you ever whispered that? “What’s the point with this dream as long as I’m….broke, depressed, too young, too old, too single, divorced?” Fill in the blank.
God tells Abram not to worry, then he asks Abram to sacrifice several animals. Abram cuts the animals in half and places them side by side. In Old Testament times, animal sacrifice was common and important. After doing some research, I learned that passing thru the animal halves was a way to say that you will keep a vow. Jeremiah 34:18 references this stating that if someone breaks a vow they would be destroyed in the same manner as these animals. I am sure Abram was very hesitant to walk thru these animal sacrifices because there was no way he could agree to fulfill the promise of making a great nation. Plus, he didn’t want to be chopped in half when he failed! He didn’t even have one child, there was no way he could complete what God has just spoken to him. He was old, had a barren, old wife, he was an exile, all alone, not enough. God totally knew this about Abram and still chose him.
Before Abram could argue or try to muster up enough gumption to walk thru these animals, he fell asleep and then came “a sense of dread, dark and heavy.” (vs 12). Some versions say he experienced horror and darkness during this sleep. I have mentioned my bouts with dark shadows in some previous posts. I can relate to Abram, can you? I tend to see all the obstacles in front of me and then the dread sets in. I believe Abram slept and felt dread after receiving an impossible vision/promise from God. He realized he was not enough.
When Abram awakes, God assures him the promise will occur. Abram then sees a smoking pot and a flaming torch pass thru the animal carcasses (vs 18). If you’ve studied the Bible at all, you know God likes to show up as fire. So here, God (the smoking pot and flaming torch) is passing thru the animals for Abram. I imagine God is saying to Abram “I will make this happen for you, my child. You can’t do this alone. I know it seems impossible. Your body, your circumstances, your surroundings are not ripe for this. But I am. I can do all things. I will do this for you. I am enough!” I imagine Abraham, still exhausted from his heavy, depressing sleep, overwhelmed and relieved. All he had to do was to stay close to God and obey and this beautiful promise would occur. It would be as beautiful as the starry sky. The promised fulfilled would lead to the beautiful birth of our Rescuer, Jesus. And then Jesus would tell his people, “I have placed a treasure inside of you, my vessel, my pot of clay that will change the world.” See why pots are important? Miracles happen using pots.
2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
Let’s back up to the passage I mentioned in 2 Kings. There is another miracle that occurs in this chapter in vs 43. One of God’s prophets, Elisha, tells a man to feed one hundred people with a small amount of food. Elisha says to the doubting man, “The Lord says there will be plenty for all and there will be some left over.” Vs 44 says, “and sure enough, there was plenty for all and some left over, just as the Lord had promised.”
I want you to know, friend, God says to you, “There is plenty.” He will walk thru whatever is surrounding you as an all consuming fire and he will accomplish His impossible, beautiful plan. You are holding his treasure in you and you are enough because of Him. Just stay close and obey. Look at the second-half of 2 Corinthians 4:7 – “to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not us.”
Whatever dream or hope God has put inside of you, (his jar of clay), he will accomplish it despite your not enough. He is the God of plenty and there are always left overs! Now that’s a good word, friends!