One childhood passion that I’ve not exercised in a very long time is model building. As a child I used to save my loose change to buy a plastic model car or plane. When I became a foster child, I discovered that my foster dad built models too. The entire time I lived there, he worked on a really intricate project: a three foot long sailing ship, with real wood, real fabric sails, and even real rigging made from tiny ropes.
It was then when I became fascinated with ships in bottles. They were very similar to the giant ship he was building, but on a much smaller scale. And, they were built with tweezers, one piece at a time, through the small opening of the bottle. It required incredible skill, that I hoped I might one day posses.
There was a booth at the local flee market where an old man built these things, and I could stand there for hours just watching him, escaping into that little world, inside the bottle – imagining I was the captain of that vessel, overseeing its provisioning for some epic journey. The problem with living in a bottle is that the “epic journey” is only as far as the inside walls of the bottle.
You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD -even beyond the borders of Israel!’
I’ve always been intrigued by the placement of that line of scripture in that particular place in the prophecy. It’s at the beginning, the introduction so-to-speak. Malachi, the messenger, is about to tear into the Israelites over their dispassionate and rote ritual practices. Here in the beginning he mentions Edom and how God’s judgment reaches even them.
Sometimes we live our faith as if in a bottle – content to seclude ourselves in a comfortable prison. The truth is that God is at work far beyond our borders, far beyond the bottle’s walls. He is doing crazy amazing things, drawing people back to Him, wooing the masses. He does these crazy amazing things through normal, everyday human beings, like me and like you.
I for one am not content looking only to my circumstances – my faith. I am moved to bursting with a desire to be a part of God’s fame, beyond the borders of me.
What about you?