There is a jar uniquely crafted to produce edibles such as strawberries and herbs in abundance. It is designed to maximize the harvest but minimize the footprint of the “garden.” This jar is shaped and molded carefully, intentionally leaving holes in places where seeds can be planted, roots can go deep and fruit can grow.
I’ve been thinking about this jar for a long time in the context of followers of Christ being likened to jars of clay:
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand. – Isaiah 64:8
We are formed by Him to be filled with Him, and used by Him. I’ve prayed often to be a vessel that God can use to pour out into and onto others, like the water jug that the Samaritan woman brought to the well. She wouldn’t have brought a cracked jar to draw water, she would have brought a trusted sturdy one that could be filled. And just as her jar was meant to be a vessel to bring a life giving resource, she found herself poured into; filled with everlasting water from the Creator. And she then ran to pour into others.
This is our design. To be filled in order to fill others.
But, what happens when our vessel is broken? Do we discount ourselves and say we carry no value? Or, could we be a vessel that bears fruit in the broken places. Could it be that I am designed for this purpose?
Don’t hear me asking to be broken. Hear me saying:
I desire to live my life as God’s precious adopted child. So secure in His overwhelming, never-ending, unshakable love for me that, when brokenness is part of my journey, the seeds He already planted in my heart burst through the open space, spreading life as they go! The seeds of faith that have been planted and are taking root, can now bear sweet fruit or a flavorful herb. Through Christ, I can be used to sweeten or season my surroundings in any circumstance.
Brokenness can happen in many forms and at many times in our lives. The loss of someone we love, the loss of a business or home or health, the loss of the (nebulous) structure keeping the chaos of life reigned under control.
Yet, thankfully, the Bible is full of encouragement for us who find ourselves in a place of brokenness. It is filled with stories of men and women living broken lives in a broken world. Men and women like Job, Tamar, Samson, Ruth, and David are just a few of the broken people God chooses to point out in His Word. They highlight the truth that God came to find the brokenhearted, and use their brokenness, to bring about the ultimate healing for us all; the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. Who is himself the ultimate example of fruitful triumph through utter brokenness.
But how can we bear fruit in our brokenness? How do we live out God’s plan through our pain? We must believe that His word is true. We must believe that
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. ~ Psalm 34:18
And we must be ready. This means that we must fill our jar with good soil, healthy soil; soil that has been prepared and is ready to receive seeds. This begins with filling our minds with God’s word. In Matthew 13 Jesus explains that hearing God’s word is what makes the soil of our heart ready to receive seeds and bear fruit.
So, today, pause a moment to consider the condition of the soil in your vessel. Pursue God a little longer…ask Him to direct where you need to spend time tending the soil in your vessel.
Brokenness is a heavy subject, but I want to linger on it a little longer. There is so much more in this word picture of the broken vessel that I want to dive into soon. I hope you’ll continue on this journey with me…
Leaning into Him,
p.s. I would love to pray for you, please let me know if I can! I also want to invite you to sign up to receive my blogs via email; I would love to continue to encourage you as we Pause and Pursue our Creator together.