Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Broken Vessels

The other day as I was putting away the clean dishes, I haphazardly sort of threw them in the cabinet. I was in a hurry to get them put away, not really having my mind on what I was doing. Evidently I had nested one too many bowls, and they were top heavy. Three of them came crashing down to the counter, bounced and hit the floor. They shattered into a gazillion little pieces to the farthest corners of my kitchen. Don't ever let anyone tell you Corelware won't break.

I was disgusted with myself. I was sick. I did not want to clean up the mess, but I knew I had to, or we all would end up with broken bits of glass in our feet. I did not want to leave even the tiniest fragment. I swept and swept. Then I mopped, then went over it with a damp towel. I kept finding pieces glinting in the light streaming through the blinds--pieces that I would not have noticed without the light shining in. It took quite a while to gather up all the broken fragments and assure myself that our feet were safe from their razor edges. When it was all over, I was minus three bowls. But I had gained some valuable lessons.

First of all, you must take greater care with the fragile things in your life. You should not just recklessly throw them to the wind and expect great things. Sometimes you have to put some work into preserving your vessels. Sometimes the vessels do not seem all that valuable to you, but they are all you have, and they are necessary for your daily life. We must be careful to guard even the everyday aspects of our lives, so that no harm befalls us.

Secondly, when something does happen because of our carelessness--or someone else's, or just because, do not despair. God is there to pick up all the broken fragments. He shines the light of His love down upon them. He seeks them out. He wants to remove them from your life, so they can't cause you pain and harm. He wants to clean up the mess you created. He cares that you do not stumble upon a fragment.
He sees even the tiniest fragments of our broken hearts. They cannot be hid from Him. He does not want to punish you for the brokenness. He knows that if you are truly sorry, that you will guard your heart more carefully next time. He knows you are pained by the brokenness. But you have to be willing to let Him clean it up.

Thirdly, do not grieve over the broken vessels. They are gone. God will replace them in due time with something purer, finer, sweeter than the broken ones.
Do not grieve over three bowls you lost. You might gain three lessons from them. You might save someone else the heartache of the broken vessel. You might find that sometimes the only way God can replace your flaws is to just break them and start over. You might find you can live just fine without those old habits or sins that so easily beset you. You might find that the beautiful vessel He is creating in you is worth all the heartache that you carelessly created in one moment's time.

If it brings you to your knees, then thank Him. For without Him to go to in prayer, we would have nowhere to go when trouble strikes. Yep, He's still working on me through it all. Day by day. Step by step.

Til tomorrow loved ones...Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed readng this so much. It should be in a book.I feel like I've read my devotion for the day. K

C. H. Green said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I submitted it to the Upper Room Devotions. Maybe I'll hear back from them. I love you too.

Cindy said...

I'm so glad you stopped by and commented on my blog- it led me here- you have a great blog here and I've bookmarked it so I can come back.