Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)
TITLE: Broken Vessels
By Kim Thomas
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Ever heard of Dr. Howard Clark. No? Okay, how about Indiana Jones? I’ll bet Indiana Jones brings something to mind. And I’ll also bet you’re scratching your head about Dr. Howard Clark.
Dr. Howard Clark is the world-renowned archaeologist who discovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922. Sad, isn’t it that his name is lost on us, while a fictional “hero” is easily connected. Just goes to show you what our culture has done to us: dumbed us down to the real history of the world and has given us the entertainment version.
I do admit, however, that Indiana Jones did sort of inspire me toward some interest in archaeology. Well, I should emphasize the “sort of” part. While I do find this science fascinating, I’m not so inspired as to grab a spoon and start digging in my own backyard. I guess I’m skeptical there might be anything of value to be un-earthed.
Though archaeology is not an exact science, archaeologists EXPECT to find something. They expect to find things that will indicate facts about the life and times of those who've gone before us. They expect to find something that will tell a story. Visit any museum and you’ll find thousands of artifacts from just about every culture. They all have a story to tell. And often, they were found in pieces.
Great care is taken to put the pieces back together. The scientist does this in order to complete the picture of what the vessel was intended to be and what it may have looked like. Often there are pieces missing and so when the pot is put together, there are gaps.
And so it goes with us…We are vessels, created by The Potter. But life brings heartache and heartbreak, disappointments and failures…those are the things that break the vessel into pieces. We are broken and spilled out and are willing to be thrown by the wayside, buried under the pressures of life itself. We have convinced ourselves that we are no longer useful. We have difficulty believing there is any purpose left in us.. A “purpose driven life”? We feel we have neither purpose nor drive. We ourselves might dig the holes into which we can burrow down, wishing to never be heard from again. What’s the use, we might ask.
But there is hope! Christ has come to dig us out of the ruins of our past. The Great Archaeologist has come to bring us out, wash us up and find a use for us once again.
There is great beauty and purpose in the vessel that has been broken. In the gaps left by that heartache and loss, the Light inside can shine out in all directions, touching others in a way the “perfect” vessel cannot.
In her book, “Becoming A Vessel God Can Use”, Donna Partow says, “God can use imperfect vessels like you and me. In fact, he often delights in choosing the most unlikely people to accomplish his purposes in this world.”
And, according to Barbara Johnson, “God Uses Cracked Pots.”
I am a cracked pot. I have experienced the loss of a husband through death. I’ve experienced a serious health crisis. I’ve experienced the serious health crisis of one of my children. All these things have put some serious “dings” in the vessel that is me.
But through it all, I can honestly say that my heartbreaks have brought me closer to God. The Great Archaeologist has pulled me out of the mire of self-centered grief, out of hopelessness, out of depression. He has removed from me the guilt of my past. But I have the Light that shines brightly, offering the same hope to others who've been broken by life.
I don’t know the breadth of what God can do with a vessel like me, or like you…I only know that He is able to give our lives purpose and meaning, and in His time, and for His glory, He will make us beautiful
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