But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. - 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
I receive several posts on Facebook from an organization called “Mindfulness Christianity Today”. One post I received had this quote:
God uses broken things.
It takes broken soil to produce a crop,
Broken clouds to give rain,
Broken grain to give bread,
Broken bread to give strength.
I don’t really know who Vance Havner is. I googled the name and saw there is a website with his name. He was a preacher in the mid-twentieth century.
I like the quote. It is my firm belief that each one of us is broken in some way. I also believe each one of us tries to hide our brokenness from God, from one another and even from ourselves.
I have shared this story before. When I was twelve, I was on a camping trip with my boy scout troop. I was wrestling with some other boys my age around a campfire we had just extinguished. Unfortunately, the extinguished fire was still very hot. I rolled over and my arm landed in the coals. Ouch!
Being a good boy scout I tried to treat the burn myself. I put a cream on it and covered it with a bandage. Over the next few days, the bandage began to smell.
My schoolteacher noticed the smell, removed the bandage and cleaned the wound with simple soap and water. The burn healed in no time.
My point is this: We try to cover our brokenness and wounds. When we do this, things can begin to stink.
Healing begins when we expose our brokenness and wounds. We are washed and cleansed.
In the passage above, Paul refers to us as clay jars. I once heard a person refer to this as cracked pots.
Here’s another point: Jesus uses these cracked pots to carry around the treasure of Christ. This treasure, Paul will say later, is a “Ministry of Reconciliation”.
God uses we cracked pots to reconcile ourselves to God and to one another.
May your brokenness be healed through the healing love of Christ.
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California