March 15 I Friday
“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 4:7
There was a water bearer in India who had two large pots. Every day for two years, the water bearer carried these pots to her mistress’s house at the end of a trail using a pole she laid across her neck. The pot on the left of the pole was perfectly smooth and always delivered a full portion of water. The pot on the right had a crack and could only deliver half a load. The smooth pot was proud of its accomplishments, doing exactly what it had been made to do, but the broken pot was ashamed of its imperfection.
After two years, the broken pot spoke to the water bearer. “I am so ashamed and need to apologize to you,” it said. “Whatever for?” asked the water bearer. The broken pot replied, “I only ever deliver half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way home. You have to do all this work, and because of my flaws, you don’t get full value for your efforts.”
Smiling, the water bearer shook her head and said, “As we return to the mistress’s house today, I want you to pay attention to the beautiful flowers along the side of the path.” And with pots filled to the brim, she began to walk the trail. The cracked pot noticed the sun warming the beautiful flowers on the right side of the path, which helped cheer the pot a little. But that cheer faded when they arrived at the mistress’s house and the broken pot realized it had leaked half its load once more.
Before the broken pot could apologize again, the water bearer said, “Did you notice there were only flowers on your side of the path? I have always known about the crack in you, dear pot, and I took advantage of it. I planted seeds so that every day as we walked, you would water the flowers. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress’s table. Without your brokenness, she would not have had this beauty to grace her home.”
We all have brokenness in our lives, whether because of sin or circumstances, but this need not shame us. Jeremiah 18:6 says, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Christ longs to mold us and mend us if we will be soft in His hand, and while brokenness should drive us to repentance when needed, it is often out of our brokenness that we are most able to point other broken people to the beauty and life of Christ.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for the ways you are mending me, but even in my brokenness, may my life be a witness to the fact that You have made us, loved us and want to redeem us for Yourself.