I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind, I am like a broken vessel.

Psalm 31: 12

 

I know that, in Christ, I am supposed to be strong, capable of enduring what comes my way, and able to stand solidly upon the truth of God’s word without wavering or drifting into doubt or uncertainty. If I am being honest, I must also admit that all of these less than stellar conditions of the heart and mind are ones that I experience. There are times when I feel the blows of life’s hammer striking my shoulders, the winds of disappointment blow fiercely and they drive the abrasive sand of the desert wilderness into my face, and I lose my grip on God’s perfect truth. Then, I fall to the ground with a force that shatters. It is very easy to start to feel like an old pot that has been dropped so many times that there is nothing left except for some barely recognizable, roughly glued together shards.

 

Yet, when I am like this, when I am reduced to being nothing but a few scattered fragments, then I am also most open to the miraculous. For God never sees me as debris that needs to be cleaned up and cleared away. Rather, He sees the beautiful colors and the subtle shading of the glazes that He applied to my sides. The Lord looks at the artful curves that His fingers fashioned as He turned me on His wheel. Then, His Spirit begins to perform a work that no one else is capable of doing. The Holy Spirit gathers up all of the pieces, and He does something that is quite amazing, for He doesn’t just use glue to put them back together as best as can be done with all of the missing chips and large gaps. The touch of my Lord’s hands on my shattered life restores the form and remakes the vessel into something that is even more exquisite than before.

 

God brings people into our lives who lovingly pick us up and help us to see Christ’s face through the tears of fatigue and pain. He provides us with relationships that help to complete our understanding of Him. Then the Lord shows us His plan for using us to serve the glory of His Kingdom in this life, and He holds us up and shows us off with the pride of the Father that He truly is. When my hours and days are filled with a feeling of broken emptiness and stolen usefulness, I can turn the energy that I have toward God’s truth and turn off my own voice of despair. Then I am listening to the Lord’s words of hope, and He guides me to look around with openness to the needs of others so that I can become the one that Christ uses to pick up the shattered remnants in someone else’s life.