In order for a vessel to be useful, it's contents have to be completely poured out so it can be used again. Emptied to be filled. Filled to be emptied. The value of the thing is only in it's capacity - its ability to be spilled and refilled.
I'm a broken vessel: leaky and unreliable to trust my dimensions, and often I'm leery to purge my contents. I'm afraid that if I give it all - that will be all there is...heart on the line. So willingly I hold on to those last drops of who I am as if afraid I'll expire, burn out, become non-relevant should I relinquish them. The holding on, however, is effort. The pouring, the surrender, the release is an exhale. To be full, ironically, is when we become stagnant, where it's the airing out that comes with the spilling that is refreshing. In the life-pouring, there is a mystical simultaneous refilling that makes the idea of capacity-surrender seem laughable. What is capacity if there is never actually a "losing"? In our release there is always regain. It is by His divine exchange that we pour out and are poured into. As we give to others, He gives to us, in excess and in ways that seal our broken places and make our vessels able to receive our portion again.
"Why is it always that we are always most filled when we pour ourselves out?" - Ann Voskamp
Mary's display of extravagance in spilling her perfume at the feet of Jesus is a beautiful picture of surrender, yes; but also of a life willing to be broken enough to spill out. She had nothing to lose. A life at abandon stage. She was humble in order to honor...giving all with no guarantee she'd ever be full again.
I'm a vessel, broken indeed, but so need to learn how to not hold on to any part of who I am, but instead to hold nothing back for His purposes.
That's the essence of Ransacked: wrecking the vessel and spilling my life in order for the Potter to use what's inside and fill me to overflowing again.
I needed it. Quiet. Solitary. Alone-ness.
As a raging introvert, the way the Lord refuels me is by pulling back, being still, craving the solace of the nothing. So today, I found it in a quiet corner coffee shop with a huge picture window with an eye on the gray afternoon. I read the Word, I watched the world, I listened as the Word fed me. My mind was filled with the here and now - troubles, worries, stresses, the what-if's and the how-do-I's and the pray-I-get-this-right's. I began to press in and read. One passage led to the next, and the chapters led me to books and verses.
I'm not sure when it happened, but I looked up and out the window and realized... everything was dripping. It wasn't raining - though, it certainly had been. The storm had come and gone and I had missed the entire thing.
Hmm. I was so focused on the Word and hearing the healing and waiting for the rescue that I missed the storm all together.
Is that what He intends? Does He wish that we will be so enveloped in Him, in seeking Him, knowing His purposes that the tough times come and go and we hardly notice? That one day, after a time of intense eye-locking with Jesus, we look just left of his gaze to find He's brought us through barely damp, where had we focused on it unfolding, we tragically would have memorized every drop, rehearsed every puddle of pain, recorded every splash.
I'm thinking that's exactly how He designed it.
Look at the story recorded in three of the Gospels (Luke 8, Matthew 8, Mark 4) where the disciples in the boat were freaking out in the storm. Meanwhile, the Prince of Peace was taking a nap. Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how He designed it.
The lesson here for me is: He is all we need. (Matthew 6:33) Don’t look left or right. (Proverbs 4:25) and if we’re intentional to lock eyes with the Savior, instead of the storm - we have the potential to miss it altogether.
Tara is Greg's girl, mom to two sons of thunder, a hunger fighter, big dreamer and worship pastor at seacoast church.