Hoensbroek, The Netherlands
Each month, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Hoensbroek, The Netherlands, holds a women’s fellowship event. In February, the theme of our event was “Teapots and Tea.” We shared a time of prayer, a spiritual devotional related to the theme, and a Russian tea ceremony and finished with a tea party.
The women were encouraged to bring one or more teapots from home and share a story about their teapots. “Every teapot has a story to tell!” Yes indeed, to everyone’s surprise we started sharing interesting stories related to these beautiful teapots — in different shapes, sizes, designs, and brands. The stories were all diverse in nature from a part of a gift, a souvenir, an antique collection, a 40th birthday treat, a special treasure inherited from mom, a keepsake from an ex-boyfriend, a memory from a family reunion … and the stories go on and on!
A short devotional entitled “Teapots and Tea” was shared during the event.
A teapot is a beautiful piece of art, carefully moulded, crafted by the potter, strengthened through heat, and laid out on the table as a vessel of service! As a Christian, we can be a vessel for service, “God’s Little Teapot.” Many might still remember the song – “I’m a little teapot short and stout, here is my handle and here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, hear me shout: ‘Tip me over and pour me out.’”
What happens to the tea bag when it is immersed into hot water? When life steams you up — be it emotions, fear, anger, or worry, what is poured out of you?
Teapots come in different styles but are crafted for the same goal — to be the vessel for a steeped, fragrant, flavored antidote to quiet a restless heart, to warm a troubled soul, to soothe the clanging pressures built up in the mind, or just to let us be still and relax for a few minutes. We are all God’s masterpiece created with a purpose.
There are three ways God deals with us:
- He touches us
- He teaches us
- He transforms us
- God touches us. We are touched by God through the Holy Spirit. The very moment that our lives meet His, just like a tea bag when it hits hot water, is when His work begins. Our recognition of Him might be muffled in circumstances and the world around us clanging for our attention, but once God claims us as His own, there is no undoing the grace and mercy that comes through His holy touch.
- God teaches us. It is only through continued immersion that we become stronger. A famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt says: “People are like tea bags, you never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.” Everyone has had or will experience that hot water experience. God is allowing His master-crafted plan of our life to be unveiled. He is pulling out and exposing gifts of strength, courage, and tenacity within us that we did not even know that we were capable of having. God’s wisdom and strength has been infused into us through the Holy Spirit. God teaches us through different experiences, through others, and through worldly insights, but one of His most favored ways is to teach us through His Word. There lies His heavenly wisdom which surpasses our earthly wisdom. As the psalmist writes in Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
- God transforms us. Just as the tea bag has been transformed into the steeped, flavored, fragrant antidote for restlessness — be it the circumstances that surround us or the inward struggles that we cannot seem to steer free of, we are being equipped with the strength, power, and might of the Holy Spirit. This is where our true, unblemished trust comes into play. Day by day we are being transformed. But we have to trust that God is working even if the outcome is still blurry. It is a gradual process that has no timelines or boundaries, and it is being done through the very hand of God.
So God has touched us, is teaching us, and is transforming us, but how will we know when are we ready to be poured out? The answer is now, every day! For we are being poured out unto this world, and we are a reflection of what God’s touching, teaching, and transforming look like. We are a people of purpose, and our primary purpose is to know God and seek His face. God has poured out His love generously on us, and we too are called to pour our love generously on others!
A question to ponder: “When you get all steamed up what is poured out of you?”