“We have this treasure in earthen vessels
to show that this power is from God and not from us.”
Unlike the Olympians we are celebrating, I spent years feeling worthless, disqualified and inadequate. All through high school people told me I had “lots of potential,” however, I didn’t really have a clear vision about what to do with this supposedly budding possibility. So years after high school and college, with a life in ruins, I felt all my potential had resulted in nothing more than dried up, broken rubble.
God found me in this broken state. Because He is so kind, He set about to repair me, to mend and heal. Even redefine me. God began telling me who I was in His eyes. His dreams about me. More than just some haunting, ever needing-to-be proven potential, God told me He dreamed of how His power could complete the work He began in me. He was moving through me, with me.
He washed off the disappointment I felt from myself and others. He washed off fear of failure and even the unwillingness to try. He redefined my idea of success. He had to because once I began to produce, my eyes were constantly looking for others’ approval.
God made things really simple for me. He said that all the gifts and callings in me were put there by His hand. Yes, there were natural talents from birth. But He had placed things in me that could only be accessed and released through Him, in relationship with Him.
I told Him I didn’t understand. So He gave me the revelation of the alabaster box.
I so relate to the story in Luke when a sinful woman anointed Jesus. She had been completely overwhelmed and overhauled by the love of Jesus. She wanted to express her love and devotion so she poured costly perfumed oil on his feet and wiped it with her hair. You know the story, I am sure. The whole room was changed by her act of abandoned worship.
But here is what Jesus said to me:
Jana, your computer (it was a white iBook then) is like your alabaster box. Use your computer like oil to be poured out on Me as an act of worship. As you love on me, others may see your devotion and smell the aroma the perfume, but it’s for Me. I love it when you love on Me like this. I’ll change the room. You focus on Me.
What’s your alabaster box? Art. Sewing. Cooking. Math. Engineering. Or like we have seen lately, gymnastics, swimming, or diving.
I can tell you there was a shift from that day forward. It has taken a lot of pressure off my need for approval. Now, when I sit down to write or prepare, I present my alabaster box to the Lord. I ask Him what He wants to pour out of it. Simply put, whatever comes out, it’s for Him.
The oil of my devotion is for the One who gave me a new life. A life that’s not just full of potential, but full of His power.
Verse adapted from 2 Corinthians 4:7