When it’s okay to be a basket case

Green hand-woven pine straw basketPatti Jones' gorgeous green pine straw basket is hand woven with a sculpted wood base.

If you could name some of the threads woven through your life, what would they be? Do you see the thread of gratitude? How about praise? Do you see the threads that you want to be there? Are there any that you feel are too sparse or missing that you’d like to see more of?

In Deuteronomy 26, God instructs His people to bring their offerings to Him in baskets and present them to the priest. Later, in all four gospels, Jesus multiplies a meager offering of fish and loaves to feed thousands, and from that supply 12 baskets of leftovers were collected. There was nothing special about any of those baskets, but they represent something about the relationship God wants with us—one where we worship Him with offerings and praise, and He pours out blessings on those who respond to His love.

Far from the misguided prosperity gospels preached today, this is a picture of an intimate, personal relationship with the threads of praise and worship and blessing woven together throughout the story of a created people and a Creator God. Patti’s beautiful woven pine straw baskets are a decorative reminder of that intimate, interwoven relationship we can have today with our Creator. It’s difficult to tell where one pine needle ends and another one begins. Likewise, when we’re truly walking in a close relationship with God, it’s hard to separate the praises and worship from the blessings, as they often run together and over and around each other. Baskets of praise return as baskets of blessing in an eternal weave of love, grace, and gratitude.

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