I am a Crackpot!
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NLT)
I am a Crackpot!
You may be asking yourself if I have completely lost my mind. Let me clarify.
I am a cracked clay pot.
Multiple times in the Bible, it talks about God being the potter and we are the clay. In Isaiah 64: 8, it says “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” I love this comparison that we are the clay in our potter’s hands.
Sometimes, in life our clay pots get chipped, cracked and even broken. This brokenness can be a result of someone hurting us, our own sin in our life, or even circumstances beyond our control as we live in a broken world. I have a friend who shared with me after years of infertility that they were finally able to get pregnant with their second child, but sadly, she miscarried the baby. She is feeling broken. I have another friend whose father passed away recently and she is feeling shattered. Perhaps you are struggling with a broken relationship, depression or even the loss of a job… many things can cause cracks in our pots.
In Suzie Eller’s book, Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places, she shares a story about a friend of hers that was hurting over a broken relationship. It says, her friend “stills sees herself as broken but no longer feels like her life has been shattered. Rather, she is like a mosaic with a Light shining from the inside out. In fact, when she shares her testimony, she holds up a clay pot, broken and glued back together, for the audience to see. It’s not perfect- or even beautiful by most human standards- but the Light filtering through the cracks is.”
I loved this visual of our fractured and shattered pieces. What if God could piece them back together and we could shine brighter than we could before? What if God’s light shined the brightest through our cracks and broken places? This whole illustration of brokenness brought me hope.
As I started thinking more about my cracks and broken pieces, my view started to change. You see, a pot with no cracks, chips or broken places does not allow much light through it. However, if a pot has many cracks and broken places but still shines bright for Jesus despite those circumstances, then that is a beautiful thing. Could our brokenness actually help us be a stronger light?
With all these questions in my head, I decided that I needed to crack my own pot. Let me say that there is something very therapeutic for doing something physical for how you feel emotionally. Words cannot describe all God taught me that afternoon; let me share with you 3 things I learned.
First of all, it is quite difficult to gently crack a pot without completely shattering it. As I hit the pot against the concrete in my backyard, I was surprised how hard the pot was to break. It was actually much stronger that I thought. However, once a tiny splinter appeared, it became easier to crack it more and more. Quickly, the pot broke into pieces.
It is so crazy how this is true in real life too. We are all very strong before anyone hurts us. However, after we experience pain, we start to crack. Once someone has hurt us so much, the cracks become so deep that we break. It was remarkable how strong the pot was before there were any cracks compared to how weak it became once it started to fissure. Each hurtful word and unkind action weakens us.
Secondly, as I gathered up all the pieces to glue back the pot back together, I noticed that there were small pieces and even some dust that came off with the cracks that I could not restore. What do we do with the dust? What happens to the small pieces that were lost during the breaking?
Recently, I heard Lysa Terkeurst speak on dust and I want to share her incredible insight. She said, “You cannot glue dust back together. But here is the hope, dust is the very ingredient that God loves to use.” She reminded us that in the beginning, God formed man out of the dust. God actually breathed life into the dust and Adam was formed. She also shared the story of the blind man where Jesus restores his eyesight by spitting into the dust and placing it over the man’s eyes. She said, “Dust, when mixed with God’s living water, can form clay. God as the potter can take that clay and make anything from it. You see, dust is a great sign that new is just on the horizon.” What great perspective to focus on as we look at the dust from our brokenness.
From the dust, God brought life.
From the dust, Jesus brought healing.
God can use your dust as we surrender it to Him. This brings me such incredible hope.
As I looked at the dust and broken pieces, I recognized that the pot can never be fully restored back to its original form. This is so true in real life too; we will never be completely the same again. I use to think that this was a bad thing but now I have a different perspective. What if we are not supposed to look exactly the same? What if we are becoming a better version of ourselves through the hard times? I found brokenness changes us. In my opinion, it changes us for the better when we allow God to breathe life and healing into our pain.
You can have more empathy for others who are hurting.
You can be more patient with others because of your brokenness.
You can show God’s love to others who need to hear it.
Lastly, as I broke the pot, I took pictures along the way. Below is my favorite picture. The light shining through the cracks was breathtaking. It made me think how beautiful it is to see God’s Light shine through the cracks and hard times of our life too. It does not take away the pain or hurt but it does give them an even greater purpose. We can show God’s faithfulness and love in such a profound way!
If we look back at our verse for this chapter: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
I love that we are not crushed, driven to despair, or abandoned by God. We may feel perplexed and pressed on all sides. We may even get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. To see our brokenness in this light requires a shift in our perspective. You see, what the enemy intended to break you, to shatter you and harm you, God can use for good. He can make you stronger, grow your faith like you have never experienced before so you can shine brighter than you ever did before.
Does this bring you hope? My prayer is this new perspective offers you unwavering hope.
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