Saturday, April 6, 2013

Clay Pots

"Clay pots were meant to be broken, so that the contents inside could be revealed."

My friend's words startled me in a profound way.  I don't know why, but sometimes I don't expect to hear something new when I come to the Word.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
~2 Corinthians 4:6-7 

I often relate to our weakness in these verses, compared to his glory, power, strength, and beauty.  Our lives, the ordinary pot; his life, the extraordinary one--and the two come together and give us honor and value.  When I think on our brokenness, I do see that God is glorified then.  But the picture was so clear when she said it--we are reminded once again that the broken shards of our lives are not mistakes.  Everything is useful.

When our brokenness seems useless or unbearable, he reminds us again that nothing--even such sacrifices as these--will ever go to waste.  Beautiful contents such as love, hope, kindness, and humility spring forth from our brokenness.  He may use our brokenness to soften our hearts in compassion towards others--or may lead others to learn compassion and love through our pain.

Of course, we have some choice in the matter.  We can carry around bitterness, anger, despair, and blackness inside.  Or...we can share honestly when these are part of our pain, allow the light of Christ to touch, to walk alongside, to carry, and eventually to heal.  And along the way, our brokenness reveals his glory.  A power not from within us--we don't merely pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to overcome these very natural human emotions.  We lay them at his feet, these broken shards that have wounded our spirits.  The life that we cannot fix or put back together is not wasted, is not useless, if we submit it to our tender Lord who knows more intimately than anyone else the pain of injustice, mockery, forsakenness.  He was broken for us to reveal the incomparable riches of God's mercy and love toward us.  And we in our brokenness can continue to reveal him.  For he truly can bring beauty and healing out of broken lives.

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