My hubby and I both tend to be hoarders. I get to the end of a tin of shortbread or coffee jar that is particularly nice and think, “oh I might use that sometime’, so into the back of a cupboard it goes. In my defence I do use a lot of recycled things to make my jewellery- such as old watches and upcycled industrial bits and pieces, but still…
While I was having a clear out recently, God reminded me again about something .
It’s too easy for us to discard the broken or old things.
We live in a consumer society and that principle of ‘make do and mend’ has become antiquated; some even see it as a bit stingy. It’s easier to just replace; To buy-new rather than ‘re-new.’
Our God is in the Renewal Business.
I love this story in <a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage? search=Jeremiah%2018:2-4&version=NLT”>Jeremiah 18:2-4</a> “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” “So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.”
God doesn’t Replace – He Renews! God places a high value on vessels we would deem broken and of no more use.
Do you feel you’re too broken for God to use – you’ve ‘messed up’ one too many times and He couldn’t possibly use a person like you to fulfil His purposes?
The pot, in Jeremiah 18, was ‘marred’. But rather than discard it, the Potter continued to work with it, patiently and expertly perfecting and shaping it into something beautiful and useable.
It’s is a lovely picture of what God does in our lives. “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. – <a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Jeremiah%2018:6&version=NLT”>Jeremiah 18:6</a>
You’re never too broken for God to restore and reshape.
<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Psalm%2051:17&version=NLT”>Psalm 51:17</a> tells us: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”
Brokenness is a heart attitude – it isn’t that God want to break your spirit, that is not who our God is. It’s about humbling ourselves before God – bringing and submitting our brokenness to Him, instead of trying to hide it (as if we could).
You are ‘reusable’, submitted to the Master Potter, and in His skilful hands, your brokenness can become, instead new beauty and strength.
Beauty from Brokenness
In <a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Mark%2014&version=NLT”>Mark 14</a> is the well known story of the perfume jar – very expensive and valuable – broken open and poured out over Jesus’ feet. It was necessary for the jar to be broken for the full beauty of the fragrance to come out perfume to come out.
It is when we are broken that the true essence of who we are – Jesus living in us – can emanate, and His beautiful fragrance touch the lives of those around us.
That particular perfume was in an alabaster jar. You and I are only ‘jars of clay’, but we contain the most indescribably beautiful fragrance of Heaven itself – that of Jesus. God chose you. He chose me, to be His vessel!
<a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=2%20Corinthians%204:7-9&version=NLT”>2 Corinthians 4:7-9</a> “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.”