It started fifteen years ago…and now, it’s kind of quiet…at the same time not. All through last year I struggled around control of my health in having Graves Disease. I imagine my health will always be something I cannot take for granted as I did in my younger days. And in nearing our second wedding anniversary, I can tell you there definitely have been gritty moments of facing each other’s brokenness. This also will not stop as if we can “arrive” at a place in life where no more conflict happens. We keep changing and growing.
One day, God willing, we may have children. And as I’ve heard some mothers say, the time you carry them in your womb upto the point they start walking is really all the time you get that’s all yours. After that, they’re walking AWAY from you…growing up into their lives in a direction only God knows. We’ll do our best to guide, but it’s like the letting go starts when they let go of your hand and can walk on their own.
And in uncertain economy, it’s not unlikely we may face a financial crisis either. Even now we are challenged to think on whether our security is in RRSP’s, savings and the “nest egg” or if our security is in God.
Then it’s as if you have to deal with all of the above again as you age into retirement. There’ll be another crisis of marriage, health, career, family, and so on. Spaced out over decades or some at the same time. Or maybe it’s repeatedly. And I’m starting to see more clearly that truly, while I “asked” for brokenness, our natural human condition was broken all along. We seek control…over ourselves and others…but do poorly at both. We are proud and often see slivers in others’ eyes while ignoring the plank in our own. We have misplaced expectations of ourselves and others and this causes pain. We are selfish and short sighted and have such deep trust issues. I see in growing clarity that our greatest “wisdom” is still just folly before God. And how much I need His wisdom. His grace. His forgiveness. His compassion. His love. Not just for myself, but so I would be transformed and be able to extend His qualities in abundance to others. I need HIM….living in and through and IN SPITE OF me.
And, that takes me being broken so that He can do that.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on an end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his masters house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9