ALABASTER JARS

Life in Abundance


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Child of God

by Kathy Beagles

I like to read Luke 18:9-17 as one passage. When I read it this way, I find insights about my spiritual walk.

Character One is a Pharisee who pretty much has the spiritual disciplines down. He is glad that he has arrived at this place in his life. I know the feeling. When I am exercising, eating right, having my daily devotions, I am pretty happy about it too. But this confidence is short-lived when I am trusting only in myself. When spiritual pride inevitably comes creeping in, I have to look in the mirror and sternly say, “Get over yourself.”

Character Two, the tax collector, knows that his life is messed up. He is not doing the things he wants to. And he continues doing stuff he doesn’t want to (see Romans 7:21-25). But, he admits it. He is open to the fact that he is broken, that he needs a power greater than himself to restore him to sanity. And, he goes down to his house justified. I’ve been there too. When I get discouraged and feel like I will never get it together, I have to look in the mirror and say gracefully, “Keep putting on the robe. Keep yourself covered in the righteousness of Jesus.”

But, I truly want to live a life devoid of either pride or angst. Instead, I want to be like the little children Jesus blessed (Luke 18:15-17). Attachment theory helps me understand how to be like a child in my relationship with God.

Attachment is a lasting psychological bond between human beings. A child that is securely attached to his caregiver believes that the caregiver is always near (John 15:9), always accessible (Hebrews 13:5) and always attentive (John 14:14). For me, receiving the Kingdom of God as a little child means staying securely attached to Jesus and letting Him live His life through me—moment by moment. Only that way can I actually receive the Kingdom of God as a little child.

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The Widow’s Husband

by Ruth-Ann Thompson

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5, King James Version.

I am very familiar with tragedy—My husband was killed in the car accident that injured our son and me, then pregnant with our second son. But, tragedy didn’t stop with the accident. When my baby was born, my father died. So, yeah, I know all about tragedy. Yet, I was totally unprepared for the tragedy that met me when my left foot touched the basement floor.

Water swirled up around my ankles. My basement—my finished basement, complete with bedroom, living room and office furniture, laundry appliances and a piano—was flooded. As far as I could see, there was nothing but water.

I threw up my hands in frustration. A flood in the basement seemed like a man’s job, but all the men in my life were dead. I was a young widow, exhausted and overwhelmed with the responsibilities of two little boys.

My frustration turned to anger. I marched upstairs, dried off my soaking left foot and entered my bedroom. Dropping to the bed, I sobbed, “Lord, you promised you’d be a husband to the widows. So, be my husband and mop my basement!” Right there, suddenly, a wave of peace flooded over me (no pun intended). Ignoring my flooded basement, I dressed my sons and left the house. We stayed out all day. Once back home, we had worship and I tucked the boys in bed. Still filled with peace, I didn’t go down to the basement. I got in bed, did some reading and drifted into a peaceful rest.

The next morning, I felt ready to tackle the basement. Donned with old work clothes and boots, armed with bucket and mop, I descended the basement steps. Again, I was unprepared for what met me when my left foot touched the basement floor. Everything was dry! I raced to the guest room … dry! To the family room … dry! To the office … dry! Perhaps the water had subsided, but surely the furniture would be damp. I touched underneath the couch … dry! Even my piano was all right! There wasn’t a damp spot or musty odor to be found.

Thank you, Lord,” I half prayed, half shouted. “You did mop my basement! I do have the best husband in the world.”

(This is a reading from the book Alabaster Jars, Vol 1. Buy a copy of the book here. It’s also available as a Kindle ebook. Find out how you can write for the next volume here.)