"A vessel for honor,
sanctified and useful for the Master,
prepared for every good work"
2 Timothy 2:21
I got a set of mugs for Christmas this year. Six of them. Red. They were a gift from a wonderful friend at church. She gives me a gift every year, and I never know what to expect. If I go to buy a gift for someone, I generally try to have an idea of something they want or need. If I don't know, I might ask them what they'd like, or ask someone close to them if they have an idea what they might want.
But this friend doesn't do that. I guess she just goes shopping, and sees something she thinks I might like, or something that looks like my style.
The present was heavy, and I couldn't imagine what was inside it, and certainly didn't expect a set of mugs. They're a beautiful shade of red, but they are larger than your standard coffee mug. I tried once to have hot chocolate in one of them, but it's more than a regular serving, so it was too much. But when I had a serving of soup in one, and it was perfect.
So now we use the mugs for soups and chili; just the other night it was raining and we had a fire going, and we had soup while watching a movie. And those red mugs were perfect. Since we were watching a movie, we weren't sitting at the table, and soup that's in a bowl on your lap is a balancing act. But these mugs are taller and deeper than bowls, so it's much harder to spill. And they have handles, so it's easier to hold without burning your hand. And because of the thick material they are made out of, and the fact that they are deep, whatever's in them stays hot longer than it would in a bowl. Not to mention, you can use a spoon to eat the veggies in the soup, and then when those are gone, it's a cinch to just put down the spoon, and drink the broth right from the mug.
And I can't believe I ever lived without those mugs. I've used them two or three times a week ever since Christmas. I rearranged my cupboards to put these in a handy place, and rarely are all six clean at one time! They are so basic, but so useful. They are not ornate ~ no floral patterns, no gold trim ~ they are not "beautiful" in the sense that you'd consider dishes to be ~ nothing delicate or fancy. But they are solid and strong and useful.
This is what God wants of us. Simple. Useful. Strong. An expensive tea cup has to handled carefully or it might get broken, so it gets used only occasionally. We can't be so sensitive in difficult situations that He's unable to use us for His work. This is my prayer ~ that He will find me faithful, and useful.
~ "We have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power
may be of God and not of us" ~
2 Corinthians 4:7