Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cracked Pots

I have always known I am a 'cracked pot' (play on crack-pot, if you didn't get it :)) and I have never liked it. It messes with my sinful desire to be perfect in all that I do and am. As I have failed daily at my misguided goal of perfection, I realize more and more that my reliance needs to be on Jesus and not myself.

As I have gotten closer to the mid-line of my life, I am learning to rest in my brokenness. (for my family as you read this - the emphasis is on learning.)

I am thankful that Jesus loves me despite everything and takes my cracks and breaks and shows himself through them to me and hopefully to the others in my life.

In our world, I think the hardest thing to accept and show publicly is our brokenness. We all want to hide those dark places from others, even those closest to us. By covering them up and hiding them though, we only make those cracks and shadowed places bigger.

Whether it is the lure of perfection, the false excitement of pornography (some of which is now called "mommy porn"), or the need to acquire bigger and better toys in an effort to fill our empty places, we all get disoriented and more lost the longer we deny our need for God. If we continue to search for what will fill us up in the world, then we will never be full.

The Apostle Paul tells his fellow believers in 2 Corinthians, chapter 4 to not hide their brokeness from the world but rather to have it out in the open so that people can see God's work in us despite our sinfulness. He writes:

"Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

4If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won't have to bother believing a Truth they can't see. They're stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we'll ever get.
5-6Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!
13-15We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe.

We show our brokeness to the world so that the world can see how our God redeems it and works through us. We say what we believe about our God rather than denying Him to appease the world. We accept that we might look foolish to the world, but we disregard it because we are saved by that 'foolishness'.

We are all cracked pots, but when we let the light of God shine into the cracks, we become beautiful vessels of light that shine with hope and healing to the world.

Chesney Szaniszlo