Oh last night's service at church was so good! It's always good and I love our Wednesday evening services all the time but I this time was something very special to me!
Pastor preached a message that he titled "The way that God uses broken vessels". It's a message that I will never forget and if anyone of you want a copy of the tape leave me a comment and I'll find a way to get you one.....it's just that good. I'll try to share a bit of the message here but you should really really REALLY GET THE TAPE!! I'll just share what I have in my notes from church last night but you should really hear the tape !!
Pastor explained that all of God's people are clay vessels and that God never throws out one of His vessels and will always have a use for them no matter how broken they are.
We read from Job 2:8 how as Job was covered from the soles of his feet to his head with sore boils he scraped them with a potsherd...or piece of broken pottery. Now that may sound as nasty as could be but from a medical perspective there are times when a wound must be cleaned or scraped out so that the new flesh can grow in and heal....otherwise infection may set in or the wound just will never heal at all. So that little piece of broken vessel may not have been valued by the world for anything but to Job at that moment of need it was facilitating his healing!
Broken vessels may never be as beautiful as they once were or as fancy looking and they may never be as proudly displayed as those flawless seeming pieces are but they are far from worthless!!
Pastor explained that there are 3 main places that vessels are broken.
1- Some vessels are broken in the fireplace.
- To be worth anything clay vessels must be fired to be cured and sealed and ready for use but some vessels contain flaws or weak spots that will crack or break out during this process and sometimes that is one way that the potter can find and repair those flaws so that the vessel can be used to fill it's purpose.
- Sometimes a vessel is impure and firing it is one way to clean it or purify it for use.
- 1 Peter 4:12-13 says "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
2- Some vessels are broken in the marketplace. They have made it through the fireplace and are now ready to serve their purpose but something happens.
- They may have been jostled and damaged in the display while waiting to be put to use.
- Some careless or clumsy person may have mishandled them or misused them.
- These vessels are damaged while trying to find their place or purpose.
3- Some vessels are damaged in the homeplace.
- They have found their place and are serving their purpose.
- They are possibly misused or mishandled and damaged that way.
- They are broken doing the very thing they are created to do.
But as Pastor preached last night God has a purpose for broken vessels!! He doesn't just say "oops, that one got cracked the last time someone tried it so off to the dump it goes". Pastor preached that there are 3 main purposes for broken vessels.
1-To relieve the weary.
- Like Job in Job 2:8, sometimes our brothers and sisters need that broken vessel to help them heal.
- Sometimes a broken vessel can be used to relieve someone else's suffering.
2-"To take fire from the hearth" in Isaiah 30:14 it says "And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fired from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit. "
- When we "take fire from the hearth" like I used to do in the bakery I worked in it was to lay another fire, those coals were the hottest part of the fire and could be used to keep the oven warm or to start another fire in the other ovens.
- Taking fire from the hearth that way is a way to redistribute the warmth....sharing the warmth with others, to warm up to cold places of liberalism.
3-"To take water withal out of the pit" also from Isaiah 30:14.....Pastor pointed out that it doesn't say "well" but pit....this would envision something that wasn't an easy task or pleasant to me. Pastor talked about how good it feels to have a long cool drink of water on a hot day when you've been really working hard.
- To take water to those who can't get to the source themselves, those who are weak or infirm.
- To take water to those places that have none, places that are dry.
As Pastor was preaching about taking water out of the pit another thought occured to me about broken vessels and water. Sometimes folks who are weak or ill can't handle large amounts of water but sicknesses sometimes cause thirst and they would often try to take more than they could handle and make themselves feel worse......a broken vessel can only carry so much at a time!!! Another thought that I had was that a vessel that has a few leaks in it may leak a bit of water along it's way and unknowingly water other places that they didn't set out to and I bet the Lord could sure use that bit of talent to sprinkle some of the dry places in the world......sometimes a person can get so dry that they don't think they want a drink until they get a drop or two of water on them!!
I know that life has broken me so many times and in so many ways that often I have felt that I was just useless and worthless to the Lord. It wasn't so long ago (maybe a couple of weeks) that I confided in a sister that I felt I was like dead weight in the Lord's family because of my broken places.... so last night as this message was being preached I was so thankful that I was not sitting up front in my usual seat but was all the way in the back row as the tears of relief were flooding my face!! I'm still moved to tears this morning as I type this just knowing that the Lord loves me so much that he would never throw me away but instead find wonderful uses for me in His family......it just doesn't matter to him that I'm not perfect and beautiful and flawless I'm not even close!! But He loves me so much that He will still keep me and give me purpose and allow me to serve him!!!! It just makes me so happy to think on that!! As horrible and ugly and undeserving as I have been in my life ....even at my worst and most broken moment God can turn it into something good for someone else in His family!!!!
It brought to my mind my Grandmother's milk pitcher and how precious it is to me. It's old and very used, it has broken so many times it isn't funny and sometimes I wonder if the superglue can keep holding it together! It leaks really really bad if I try to put anything liquid in it and it can't really be used for what it was originally intended but still it has it's own special kind of beauty and more than that it has a great deal of meaning to me because I know where it came from. No matter where we live it always has a special place in my home and is treated very very tenderly now. If I can love a broken vessel so much with my weak human heart how much the more God must love me!!!!