In our backyard we have a beautiful waterfall and pond. In that pond we have a large number of Koi fish. Some are as big as a foot long, and many, many small ones are of various sizes. We also have a visitor. A Blue Heron comes in the winter and likes to feed on the small fish. So last fall, when we were cleaning and freshening up the pond, we decided to add some “fish caves” that the pond expert had recommended for this problem. We went to the local pond place and looked at the “fish caves” they had for sale.

Now wait just a minute! I quickly noticed that the “fish caves” they had, at a handsome price, were really nothing more than common terra cotta flue liners. We took one large one that the pond store had. And later, a quick check on-line found a local masonry manufacturer that made flue liners and we went there and picked up several more at a much-reduced price!

The fish love these hideaways. The Blue Heron misses lunch at Deb’s pond. But I couldn’t get done thinking about how the common everyday flue liner became much more valuable when labeled as a “fish cave.”

And what about you? And what about me? The world may look at us as broken, or damaged, or not very valuable. You may see yourself that way. But when we have placed our lives under the shed blood of Christ, when our sins have been washed clean, and when the Holy Spirit has filled our lives with His presence, well, we become very valuable!

You are a child of the King! You are chosen and called for the Kingdom of Christ! You are gifted for ministry! You are very valuable! As one of God’s precious children you are loved and cared for deeply. Never doubt it or forget it!

Remember Jesus’ words about the sparrows?

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 NIV

And remember Paul’s words about what happens when we receive Christ.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV

The plain old clay flue liner now becomes strong, important, valuable protector of the fish! And the old clay sinner now becomes a valuable, gifted, cherished child of the Kingdom. Dear friends, never doubt your worth in Christ!

Larry M. Dentler, CBC Executive Board