From Broken Vessels to Vessels of Honour
John3:16 James 1:2-4 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Luke 19:41 Psalm 31:9-16 John 11:33 2 Timothy 2:21
During these past 18 months COVID19 has caused untold misery, stress, fear, uncertainty, separation, loneliness, suicide, sickness and death all around the world, and still we see little hope in sight as mutations continue to rear their ugly head! Conspiracy theories have caused heated arguments on social media, even among Christians. A distrust of Governments and those in authority has sparked protest marches and riots in the streets of many towns. The whole world is being shaken and we see no definite end in sight. Meanwhile nation rises against nation, whilst evil men inflict horrors beyond our imagination in Afghanistan and other lands where evil regimes have taken leadership.
I imagine there are very few who could say they do not feel like a broken vessel. In so many ways we are all broken vessels whether believers or among those who remain in the harvest field. However, we can take courage in the knowledge that Jesus came to earth to become the most broken vessel that ever lived when He willingly gave His life in order to to restore broken, sinful souls by His precious sacrificial blood. There can be no greater love than we find in John 3:16 “for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son……...”
Understandably, none of us relish suffering, yet James 1:2-4 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. “
I once read an African story that told of a path leading from a village to a well where women filled their vessels with water. Some of the vessels had developed cracks which leaked droplets of water as the women returned to the village. This resulted in beautiful wild flowers blossoming on the sides of the path.
What a wonderful parable revealing that in our own brokenness, Holy Spirit is able to leak out to bless the lives of others who are also broken souls. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Brokenness comes in two ways. Sometimes through our own foolish and sinful disobedience, whilst at other times through trials, pain, suffering or hurt inflicted upon us. Jesus understands both. In Luke 19:41 we find Him weeping over Jerusalem because they had failed to recognise that He was their Messiah, spoken of by the prophets. Jesus knew their rebellion would result in bringing great destruction and suffering upon Jerusalem and it broke His heart because He loved them even though they rejected Him.
In Psalm 31:9-16 David pours out his heart to God in brokenness, “…..my strength faileth because of mine iniquity….I am like a broken vessel.”
In John 11:33, Jesus finds Mary and her friends weeping over the death of Lazarus and He weeps with them. He identifies with their grief and brokenness which is not of their own making.
The Bible teaches us that the Lord allows trials in order to refine and purify us. His purpose is not to defeat us but to restore us by taking the broken pieces and putting them back together to make us even more beautiful. He delights in bringing healing and restoration to broken lives. “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself…. (by turning away from his old lifestyle)……. he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the master, prepared for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21).
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I surrender the broken pieces of my life to You and ask that You will make me into a vessel of honour. May my life bring glory to You through turbulent waters as well as calm seas. Even in darkness Lord, may my light shine even brighter for You. Holy Spirit help me to become ever more Christ-like. Amen.
Empty and broken, I came back to Him A vessel unworthy, so scarred with sin. But He did not despair, He started over again And I bless the day, He didn’t throw the clay away.
He is the potter and I am the clay Molded in His image, He wants me to stay. But When I stumble and when I fall, and my vessel breaks, He just picks up all the pieces, He never throws the clay away.
Over and over, He moulds me and makes me, Into His likeness, He fashions the clay. A vessel of honour, I am today, All because Jesus didn’t throw the clay away.
Lyrics by Terri Gibbs