As I read a story about a little girl today; the daughter of a friend. I had to make a choice in my heart. To listen and understand, and respond; Or to continue on with my life thinking that it doesn't affect me anyway.
I remember the song "The Potter knows the clay" that Missy sings in church, and as I prayed for this friend, I began to thank God for the way he has shaped my clay. It's not pretty, but it has been a blessing to be used by Him. The only reason it is the way it is, is because His hands have been on it. He's applied the water of His word to soften it and mold it into the vessel he wants it to be. Yes, I've had to be willing to let Him do it, but I've done nothing on my own.
Then as I prayed, God seemed to show me that a vessel isn't meant to look pretty. It's meant to hold stuff. Sure we put much of ourselves into this vessel, but the more we put into it, the less He can put into it. Only by emptying our vessel (dying to self), can we truly be filled with His spirit. But then what?
THEN, and only then, can He use us to pour out His blessings on others as only He can do with us and through us. See, our vessels aren't meant to just sit there and look pretty. We're meant to be filled, and poured out, so we can be filled again.