by Ronya Osman
We don’t need to look at our imperfections as weaknesses. God is writing our story and there is a purpose for every one of them. In his attempt to steal, kill, and destroy Satan will afflict God’s children, all the while doing God’s will. Rom 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
The people God used were not perfect; they were outright dysfunctional people. David lusted after Bathsheba, a married woman. He impregnated her after committing adultery and had her husband, Uriah, killed (2 Samuel 11). Sarah let her husband sleep with another woman then resented and hated her afterwards (Genesis 16). Moses had a hard time controlling his temper (Exodus 32:19, Numbers 20:11). Jonah ran from God (Jonah 1:3). Hosea’s wife was a promiscuous woman (Hosea 1). Paul murdered Christians (Acts 8), before God blinded him for three days, and revealed the truth to him (Acts 9:9). So you see, God does not use perfect people. He loves you and uses you just the way you are.
In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about a thorn in his flesh. He explains this thorn as a painful thorn, a thorn that Satan put there, but God uses for a greater purpose.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul asked the Lord to remove this thorn three times, but he was given something better. God gave Paul the understanding of His will and the truth that His grace is sufficient. Paul said, “In order to keep me from becoming conceited.” Nothing is worse than a “holier than thou” Christian. Paul delighted in his imperfections because he knew they produced humility and Christ-likeness. He also knew that only God could make him whole and whatever he lacked God would make up the rest, “For when I am weak, then I am strong”. Through it all, Paul’s source of strength was God. So boast about your imperfections because you have the ability to lean on God too!
We are created to be vessels full of the knowledge of the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, “For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
If we look at our imperfections as cracks in the potter’s clay jars we can see that they are placed there for the purpose of allowing God’s light to shine through them. Cracks allow others to see God’s forgiveness, mercy, redemption, healing, and love at work in our lives. They allow us to identify with one another and come together and say “oh, you too?” The cracks are a witness of God’s glory to people who don’t know the healing power of Christ, the power that holds us together through the brokenness. So delight in your cracks.
Allow me to share the story of the broken pot…
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 master’s 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."
We all have imperfections. We are all cracked jars of clay. Never the less our cracks are used to grace the Father's table. Delight in your imperfections.
by Ronya Osman