The chosen vessel
“the chosen vessel was the best work the potter could produce. Its strength and beauty were pleasing to Him.” – Dr. Sam Sasser
You have been CHOSEN. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? You have been called and chosen. Words every Christ follower would love to hear. It thrills the heart and excites the senses. It means a life of adventure right? Blind eyes open, people set free and I get to be a part of it, right? Wrong.
“When the chosen vessel came out of the fire, it was handled differently than the other vessels. The potter would take it into a small dark room, place it on a low, unobserved shelf, close the door and go back to His work.”
If you are anything like me, dear reader, there would be plenty of frustrations to keep you on your toes as you stumble in this dark room, wondering why the Master Potter of your life put you here. “I’m ready!” your heart cries. “I’m ready to lay my life down and go wherever You call me!” and you hear the gentle but resolute reply: “Not yet.” or worse still, silence. ‘Am I forgotten?’ you wonder on your worst days and comfort yourself with promises and scripture on your best days. Life goes on and you feel like the globe that has lost its axis.
Thankfully, my heavenly Father has surrounded me with many people of wise counsel and puts the right books in my hands at the right time.
Here are some lessons that I have learned that I hope will help you in some way. I have found that in the dark room of discipline “God’s intention is to take from our hearts everything that we love most. Everything that competes with God must be chiseled away”
- If you believe that you can only serve God in certain ways, He will withhold that from you.
- He will teach you in your prayer closet, more than on the mission; He is more than enough in all situations.
- His Presence with you is like being in heaven and He will draw men to Himself through you, no matter where you are.
- To teach you what He needs to teach you, He will allow situations that require you to rely on His strength and wisdom to get through.
This is preparation at its best and most intimate. Saul who became Paul was a chosen vessel; and not only did he spend three days in utter darkness before Ananias prayed for his sight to be restored and thrust him into the light; he spent three years in the storage room of Arabia, under the hand of God, before he began his missionary journeys.
“But the Lord said unto him, ‘Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake’.” Acts 9:15-16
“Many people will not understand your heartache – nor even that there could be such heartache – but chosen vessels will. Listen carefully. God has not forgotten you. Your months of quietness are from His hand – He has set you apart, not aside. He is molding within you an attitude of contentment that desires nothing more than to be in the Potter’s care. Until He has achieved His purpose; “doing” will be very costly for you. So long as the seeming idleness bothers you, you are not ready for the next step.”
Ouch! Press on in the mundane brothers and sisters for your Father knows your heart. He shaped it and He will continue to shape it. For me, that shaping is seen in loving the people God has put in my path – the children in Kid’s church, the people I come across at work, the cell-group I am privileged to share my life with and serving my family, both biological and spiritual.
Enjoy this season of your life…it’s not coming back! and trust Him – even in the dark storage room. When the time is right, with a twinkle in His eye and a smile, He will show you exactly what you were Chosen for!
“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the Word of His servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” Isaiah 50:10
Thank you to Sheena Sutherson for this testimony. Sheena is a young-adult with a passion for missions, leaving her job as a secondary school English literature teacher in Singapore last year to pursue a missions support venture, the Nehemiah Project – networking churches with on-field projects.
*Quoted excerpts are taken from the book ‘The Potter’s Touch – Consecrated to Servanthood’ by Dr. Sam Sasser.