Inspired by “Now I Can Sleep Tonight” by Dez Childs
Have you ever heard the phrase, “I’m only human?” Or, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven?” Whenever you hear these types of statements, do you sometimes get the impression that someone might just be a little defensive? I know I’ve been guilty. We all, at one time or another, have stood on our soapbox and proceeded to state our case about why we are the way we are. We feel like we are caught up in the endless cycle of the “I can’t help it’s;” that is, until the Holy Spirit gently reminds us that we are (after all) a work in progress. Much like the highway flagman who alerts us to the “SLOW DOWN – PROCEED WITH CAUTION,” our Helper will lead us to the exact scriptures that aid us in this changing process.
Recently during my quiet time, I was curiously struck by a two-word phrase that ordinarily I would have passed over in my hurried pace. But, I decided to heed the advice of my “heavenly flagman” and reduce my speed, so that I could gain a better understanding of God’s message to me. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels to show this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. I became inquisitive about the words “earthen vessels.” I thought I had a good idea of its meaning but decided to do a word study. Through my study, I discovered the word vessel (skeuos) to be defined as a holder, jar, or something that contains. The word earthen (ostrakinos) is a substance made of clay, brittle, and easily broken. I began to realize that I am nothing more than a lump of clay. (Isaiah 64:8)
Many years ago, in a very poor Middle East village, stood an ancient stone well. Alongside of that well sat two large watering pots. One of them was like new, beautifully formed, even had graceful etchings along its curved handle. The other, not as new yet still useful, had become cracked over the years. Time after time, the pot was passed over by the people with the exception of a little village girl. She had grown fond of the neglected pitcher. Every day she would chose it instead of the beautiful pot. One morning, the old pot asked the little girl, “Why do you continue to use me, when you know I am flawed and cannot hold the water you and your family so desperately need?” The little girl spoke not a word, but carried the broken pot to a familiar pathway that she traveled daily. With her tiny voice she said, “This is why I pick you.” There before the pot was a row of delicate wild flowers that had bloomed along the trail because of the water that had trickled and leaked from the pot. The buried seeds of the flowers had been watered as she made her way home each day. The cracked pot for the first time had seen its worth through the eyes of a grateful little girl.
Just like the not so perfect piece of pottery, God uses us despite our imperfections. Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to be placed back on the potter’s wheel to be remolded. This is not always a fun process but it is necessary in order to smooth out some of the flaws that God says must go! In even more serious times, God will actually break us and begin the process all over again. All because He’s after something within us that will ultimately produce a vessel of honor for His glory.
Don’t believe me? Just take a look at some of the most famous people in the Bible who were flawed and broken, but God molded and reworked over and over again and ultimately used to do amazing things for the kingdom:
Noah was a Drunk
Elijah was Suicidal
Peter was a Coward
Jacob was a Deceiver
Rahab was a Prostitute
Samson was a Womanizer
Moses had a Self-esteem problem
David was an Adulterer/Murderer
The Samaritan Woman was Divorced (a lot)
We may find ourselves falling apart, broken and maybe even feeling unwanted when it comes to our spiritual journey. But just like these heroes and heroines of the faith, God has promised that if we trust Him with our life, He will continue to mold us and shape us until we are just right. Though I find myself today still one of His works in progress, I know that God is not finished with me yet and He’s not finished with you either. So my challenge to you as I close is when you feel broken, worthless, or flawed in your walk of faith, to instead of making excuses or giving up, remember that you are a work in progress that God is working, shaping and molding into a treasure truly fit for a King.
Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at email@example.com
Dez Childs is a contemporary Christian singer/songwriter from South Jersey. “Now I Can Sleep Tonight” can be found on her Heart Cry album, which can be found on Amazon, itunes, or on her website. For more information about Dez you can go to her website at: www.dezchilds.com.
Want to read other devotionals written by Tim? Go to: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/kindreds-devotional-series/463516160364310