Cracked Pots

'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."
2 Corinthians 4:7
I will probably never get used to the grace given to fragile humans to spread this glorious message. It seems more appropriate to send the mighty angels because eternity is at stake. Yet, in the wisdom and love only God can demonstrate He chose us. Broken, fragile, and unworthy humans that struggle with demonic forces and sinful temptations have been selected to break even the hardest sinner's heart.
The apostle Paul eloquently described the commission of a disciple well. We are clay jars. Fragile. A container that must be "handled with care." This requires great faith for both the vessel to be carried from place to place and those that look upon the cracked container. Yet, God has chosen it this way to glorify His name.
Think of the message that is being spoken as the fragile clay jars deliver such a precious treasure. God, who does not regard anyone greater than another, uses a broken vessel like ourself it can only point to one thing. This must be God! It is obvious that the power and demonstration of the treasure can come from only one. A perfect Father and a powerful God.

A cracked pot

A few years ago we tried to recreate this image. A friend of mine took a clay pot and applied a hammer to it. The hammer one. Convincingly. What happened next was the best illustration I have yet to discover on this verse.
Marking carefully each piece on the inside, my friend proceeded to carefully put the broken pieces back together again. Yet, it didn't look the same. At all. In fact, it was obvious to the onlooker that this pot had once been shattered. There were ugly gaps, missing pieces from the break along with weak points all across the pot's structure. The onlooker would assume that this pot was useless and that my friend was wasting his time. However, my friend knew exactly what he was doing. He had been given an assignment. Put it back together, no matter what it looks like to others.
They were correct in their assessment. It looked terrible. Useless. Well, until one element was added. It wasn't dirt and plants like it was once designed to carry. No, it would hold something far greater now. Carefully and with great calculation a single bulb was place inside the clay pot. Once placed on the stage the bulb was plugged in and now everything made sense. What was once ugly and broken now made perfect sense. Those gaps and cracks were now illuminated with what resided inside the fragile vessel. As soon as it was plugged into the correct source -- it all came to life! It was beautiful. A glorious picture of the precious treasure hiding in fragile clay pots!

Broken humanity near you

I know it's difficult to see, sometimes. The broken people in our life that seem to have wasted precious years on really dumb decisions. Many of them are still stuck in those decisions or paying the price for it. It's not easy to get "unstuck" from the quicksand of life. Offenses are serious wounds and bitterness can keep us in a prison of shame and anger. Life controlling situations aren't easily broken no matter what the human effort contains. Yet, we have this crazy and hidden treasure inside of us that we keep for ourself. I'm convinced that the church can turn a city upside down when we stop looking at our own imperfections and decide to share the light. We can start a revolution of life in our cities when we are unashamed of the brokeness of our own lives and embrace the cracked jars around us.
No matter what the hammer has been, God can put it back together in such a way that it carries a greater treasure. It's God that will get the glory for this beautiful mess. That's the genius and beauty of the gospel.

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