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The Humble Sponge

Once upon a time there was a sponge named “me,” who live at the bottom of the sea. That could be the beginning line of our collective life stories, believe it or not! It would seem that the location and qualities of this unique life-form exemplify a style of attitude that would be well-pleasing to our God. Think about this: In the reproduction of the commercial product, which is patterned after the real, the process goes like this. To make holes in a sponge, special salt is used and heat is applied to the mixture. When the crystals melt they leave holes. For the sponge to be useful however, it requires further cleansing and shaping. I would guess that you are getting a mental image right about now! Lets see, have you ever felt the heat, the squeezing, or the cutting in your life? It's all right. It is God's desire that we be meek and porous. Never be ashamed if your attitude is clothed in humility and you feel incomplete and full of holes! That is the only appearance that is acceptable in the Holiest Place, the only garment we are permitted to wear in the throne-room, and the only quality of substance that is recognized in His presence. If we are willing to stay at His feet, we will one day see His face. The way we accomplish that goal is to be submissively open before our heavenly Father.

It seems to be easier to believe that “He Is,” than to acknowledge that “He is the rewarder.” Faith is the thing that pleases God but it is a two-part application. We do not feel worthy to receive from Him. There is a very fine line here that quickly crosses to pride and unbelief. Most of us can relate to either having children or grandchildren, who when they come into our lives have done nothing to deserve the things we do for them. As they grow they become joyfully expectant. They know when they come into Papa's presence that he will have good things for them. It is written in our heart that "no good thing will he keep from His children.” We know that He knows everything that we need. The words that precede “no good thing” are interesting. He is portrayed as both our sun and shield. He never gives us more than we can bear. He gives grace (to go through the molding process,) and His Glory (beautifully displayed through us) as He works to make us into a usable vessel.

We came into this world with nothing, and at the mercy of those around us. Physically we leave the way we came, but there is more to our leaving than our arriving. This flight may not allow carry-on baggage, but is unlimited in its restriction regarding checked luggage. You see we have to “lay aside,” but are encouraged to “lay up.” You can take it with you when you go! The heart is our storage facility from which the angels transfer our treasures to our safety deposit box in heaven. Deep inside these earthen vessels God has provided a place where we can accumulate eternal substance. There is mention made of those who walked before us who understood these things. Mary the Mother of Jesus kept things in her heart. Mary the friend of Jesus chose something that Jesus said would not be taken away from her. She stopped and listened (at His feet,) realizing that humility only enhances absorption! Another woman understood the laws of physics and combined it with unashamed compliance. She knew if something was dropped it fell, and if she was in the right place with the proper attitude she would receive. Our disposition is the lock that often keeps us from receiving. There are good things that fall on us when we are clothed with humility. He gives Grace to the humble.

Jesus urged us not to keep our treasures stored up here, knowing that we would be moving. He has made us accept the responsibility of our control center, the mind. A sponge is not selective to what it absorbs, therefore it is up to us to make sure it is soaking up the good. We have the choice of seed that is planted there. We decide the content of our thoughts and the attitudes and actions that follow. If the harvest is not to our satisfaction, perhaps we have not planted enough seed of the Word.

A wise man once said “there is great strength in humility,” and he has proved it in the example of his life to this very day. I am thankful for faithful friends who show us who follow, that we can please God, and be productive Christians. A recent time of shaping in my life has underlined some important truths for me. You can strip me naked of everything in this life, however, my heart is not here, it is where my treasure is. I have a storehouse full of things that can never be taken away!

My daily goal is to work with the potter until he is satisfied with the product. I can best reach this eternal desire by being a “humble sponge.”