Broken Vessels–a New Beginning
Welcome to my new blog feature, “Broken Vessels,” a place to share about spiritual brokenness from several different points of view and pointing to the One who can fix the brokenness–Jesus Christ.
“Broken vessels” were the words that came to my mind over and over this past summer. Is that You, Lord? I pondered. There have been so many times over the last few years when I have felt utterly broken. I thought I had obeyed God in the way He had directed my days and yet, many of my dreams have crumbled. I look at my past—wondering what mistakes I’ve made. How have I let the Lord and others down?
While I can hopefully learn from my past mistakes, dwelling on them pulls me backward. In God’s word in Philippians 3:13-14 Paul tells us, “but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
He wants me to look forward to the path He has laid out for me, not back to the crumbling building of what I thought I built for Him. My heart has been broken over and over again, but He is close to the brokenhearted. In fact, He binds up the wounded. This made me think of “Broken vessels . . . mended by God.”
Jesus takes sinful pasts and cleanses our hearts. He takes disappointment and makes something better from it. He takes our shattered dreams and gives us new ones. I kept picturing an ancient jar, poured out and cracked. Then I came across bowls and other pottery, which had been broken and mended together with gold-laced epoxy by a Japanese method called Kintsugi or “gold rejoinery.” This was considered a way to not only to fix the broken vessel, but also to make it more beautiful and stronger.
As I researched this method, I found that people have molded an entire life philosophy of repairing the difficult areas of their lives—making lemonade from lemons or finding the silver lining to the cloud, proverbally speaking. But I keep thinking that only the Master Potter, the one who created and originally molded the vessel can truly repair it with refined gold.
Indeed, God refines us through the trials and suffering He has allowed, even ordained in our lives. The question is, are we willing to be strengthened by these trials, to become better instead of bitter? To let the beauty shine through the cracks in our lives? He desires to make something even more lovely out of each of His children.
How has the Lord made you more beautiful through trials?
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