Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What is My Alabaster Box...Today?

The famous alabaster box. It meant so much to Jesus He said "Truly I tell you, wherever this good news (the Gospel) is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told also, in memory of her." Matthew 26:13 I am thinking about the alabaster box in a little different way lately. I thought I would run my ponderings past you. Maybe you will want to come along on the journey with me!

It started occurring to me right in the middle of service Sunday, "What if everyday I looked for an opportunity to give, to yield or surrender what I am holding onto, what I am keeping to myself or for myself, what if I let the Holy Spirit show me my daily opportunities to surrender my alabaster box, to give it to Him! "

Now, that wasn't what the service was about. At. All. But, that is just something that I was inspired to during the service.

I started by reading the accounts in Matthew 26, and Mark 14 yesterday, and just praying that "Lord, I have no idea if I can do this or how to do it. But, I desire to try if You will teach me, give me insight and give me strength. I am a little scared that You will show me something that I am scared to give up, or let go of, or surrender. So, help me. I trust You. I want to give You this day my alabaster box."

Already my journey is telling me that it's at least partially a journey of faith (of course), of humilty (so necessary), and of obedience (the biggie I'm thinking!). Yesterday I had an opportunity to let go of something I always hold onto, keeping it tucked way inside. There was a chance if I would let go of it, it would help someone else, at least a little. But, I could have said no. I am glad I didn't though. I feel closer to the other person, in a way that only God can arrange. And it was really liberating to me, to be able to let go of it. I think for me, that was my alabaster box yesterday.

Why obedience?
  • "Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king." 1 Samuel 15:22-23
  • And lastly, but not leastly! ;) "For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering. My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise." Psalm 51:16-17
Today is a new day though. So I am seeking, and listening for my opportunity to give, to yield, to let go of, and to OBEY! I am so, so sure He will give me an opportunity, and I just hope that I say YES!

I believe this will be a recurring post. As I am feeling led as I write this, to keep this theme going on, holding it up front for us to all consider. Join me if you like! I would love to hear your thoughts on the Alabaster Box!



Kathy Cochran said...

Maria, I think its so awesome and powerful, just all last week I had been thinking about the very same story. My thoughts were on how she had poured the oil and anointed his body, and she began to minister to him that when she left his presence that she had his smell all over her, his aroma, his anointing. And that when we get into the presence of God and we begin to worship him, and give our offerings of praise, of sacrifice to Him, that when we leave, we leave with something that we didn't have when we approched him, We leave with His anointing.

freetofly said...

Kat - Oh my GOSH! I love that thought! That's what we need! That's what He gives us! Thanks for passing that on!

Joyful Days said...

I hold on to quite a bit.

Right now I've got a particular subject that has been weighing on my heart for four or five months. Problem is, I don't know which decision is the one that will glorify God.

Probably both--I'm sure HE can use both paths for good. And I am sure I am over thinking it as usual.

I've got to say the last year, especially has been a learning process about surrendering my will. And no surprise, when I surrender the rewards exceed my imaginings. Why is it so hard to let go, then??

In Him

[who is slowly getting caught up, LOL! :)]

luvmy4sons said...

As always such beautiful thoughts my sweet sister. I loved your prayer...so awesome. What a wonderful gift to God. Powerful stuff. What am I holding onto...what is in my alabaster box? It changes so frequently so much...but lately it almost always has to do with my sons, letting go...trusting...Once again I have been beautifully exhorted. Thank you my friend!

Denise said...

Such a beautiful post, and an awesome prayer. Thanks for always encouraging me my friend. I love you.

freetofly said...

Julie - Praying that you will follow peace and thereby have God's best for you! Maybe it hasn't been clear bc the timing wasn't right yet...But I know it will be clear in time! Yeah, I have things that I don't always realize I "hang on to". And sometimes letting go is easier than others (read- I don't wanna!)! :)

Leslie - Thank you my friend! I am enjoying this journey! It has almost the feel of a spiritual scavenger hunt!

Denise - You're welcome and thank YOU!


Tiffany said...

Wow, this was powerful. My alabaster box is so full, sometimes it feels more like pandora's box. But, I love my Jesus and I have come before Him on my face weeping and yet wanting so badly to touch Him and honor Him in a way that will touch His heart as she did. I love what KC said above. Such a beautiful thought!

freetofly said...

Tiffany - What a great analogy! Your comments always bring a smile to my face! Like Pandora's Box! That's a great picture that we can ALL relate to!

Yes, I love what KC said, also. It is a topic she has taught me MUCH about. Her Husband is my Pastor and she is my co-Pastor and VERY dear friend. I have been a member of their church since Aug 1994! They have seen our family through MUCH!

Praying your day is a spectacular one. May you touch His feet!


Sharon Brumfield said...

Just to let you know I am catching up on some posts here. My internet connection is not that great so I have to get to it when I can...or I should say when it lets me.:)
I think we know when things carry a certain weightiness from God...when those things come to us out of the blue. I love that He was speaking to you about one thing while others were getting something totally new from the pastor.
Pretty cool.
I have always loved this story.
I think that I have probably had lots of alabaster boxes over my life time.Things that I thought were of great value....I tucked them away for use later. Then God would ask me if I would be willing to pull that box down and expose the truth about the contents so that He could use it for His glory in the life of another.Some boxes are not ready to be opened yet..because the lessons are not finished.But He lets me hold on to them till I realize that in His hands the box will take on His glory. What once looked like something nice in my hands becomes a thing of beauty in His.
I had a chance to open one of my boxes with a woman at the laundry mat yesterday. I pray that as the box opened to reveal the past that she was overwhelmed by the sweet essence of the love of our Lord.
Wow...I hope that made sense.

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!