Nestled beneath some False Indigo Baptisia, along our eastside garden, lies a weathered, broken clay pot–– which, no longer serves the purpose for which it was designed. But from a gardener’s aesthetic perspective, the shattered shards and damaged pot remain a purposeful part of the over-all plan.
I just recently read that in the first century, it wasn’t unusual to hide personal valuables in common, everyday earthen clay pots. Alluding to this practice, the Apostle Paul refers to these jars of clay–– as a repository for the “treasure” that has been entrusted to us. He writes: “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (1. Corinthians 4:6-10, NASB)
As jars of clay, we reveal God’s power in spite of our imperfections! The “treasure” which has been entrusted to us in these “earthen vessels” is the transforming power of the Gospel. What a paradox: the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ found in the frailty of our fallen, broken humanity–– as followers of Christ! Elisa Morgan, writing for Our Daily Bread said this: “When God inhabits the imperfect and broken pieces in our lives, the healing hope of His power is often more visible to others. Yes, His repair work in our hearts often leaves the scars of cracks. But perhaps those lines from our learning are the etchings in our beings that make His character more visible to others.” What an encouraging word and needful reminder is found in this potshard paradox. Is God revealing His glorious grace to others–– using your perfectly good imperfections?
Broken, with a purpose…