To pour or not to pour

The graceful lines of a beautiful pitcher draw me like a thirsty soul to a bubbling spring. Several styles in various colors top my kitchen cabinetry. Hand-thrown pottery is my favorite, and rare mugs sometimes squeeze into the line-up with their hearty handles and heavy weight. But mugs don’t have the one qualifier that sets apart a lovely decanter: the lip that pours out.

I have long joked that the only thing I collect is dust because housekeeping is not my best event. But one day I noticed my several cream pitchers—some tin spatter ware, some china. And the larger ceramic, glass, and stoneware water pitchers. The deep blue matching mugs and server my husband bought me for Christmas last year. The old tin coffee and tea pots that hold fresh flowers or new plantings of spring annuals.

I have a penchant for pitchers. The vessels are everywhere.

And then I realized the connection.

One Sunday morning years ago our pastor asked us to write down the dreams of our heart—the things we really wanted to do, to accomplish. He handed out envelopes for us to fill with our dreams, address to ourselves and seal, and he promised to mail them six months later.

My dream was to become a columnist and a novelist. As a long-time journalist and freelance writer, I was familiar with publishing. But as much as I wanted to be a regular newspaper columnist who wrote about her own ideas and observations, I was terrified that I would run out of things to say after I signed a contract. What would I do?

The Lord led me to the Old Testament story of Elisha and the widow’s oil (2 Kings 4). The prophet told the needy widow to collect all the vessels she could find, take the little bit of oil she had, and pour it into the vessels. Then he told her to sell enough to pay her debts and live on the rest.

I found it interesting that the widow did not run out of oil as long as she was pouring. The flow didn’t stop until she ran out of containers to hold the oil. And that’s where the Lord spoke to me about my writing:

“As long as you pour it out, I will pour it in.”

Obedience and trust were key components for the widow, and they became as important to me as well. In the last eight years of writing columns for newspapers, blogs, and national non-profit newsletters, the Lord has faithfully “poured in” as I have poured out.

His faithfulness has recently flowed over into longer manuscripts with a Christmas novella published last year and a novel set to release this August from Heartsong Presents. Two other full-length works are in publisher’s hands, and even more stories stir in my heart and find their way from my fingertips into my computer storage tank—right next to a diminutive pitcher that sits on my writing desk.

The simple piece of craftsmanship reminds me of the Lord’s promise and His ordained process of obedience and trust.

So I ask you: What has the Lord promised He would do for you? What has He said He would provide so you could in turn “pour out?”

My challenge to you is to try Him. See if He is as good as His word. And decide whether you will be a pitcher or a mug.