Paradox

Read:

". . . he is a chosen vessel of mine . . ." Acts 9:15

Reflect:

All things work together for the good: our physical cracks, our intellectual limitations, our emotional impairments, our spiritual short-comings, all of the unhealed holes in our heart. Yes, even our fatal flaws. We have this assurance no matter how far down we've gone, we will see our experience be of benefit to others. The cracks in our vessels becomes our underlying strength. 

A vessel is made to contain something. It is of no importance in itself, even the most expensive. It has no value without the water it can hold. And yet, its value is incomparable because without it the water would be lost. Every believer lives with this paradox of their own life. We each feel the tension of importance and unimportance at the same time. 

We are not important in and of ourselves. Yet, if the word and power are to be poured out on a thirsty world, they must be first poured into a vessel. We are the gathering point, the place where the energies of God are concentrated for the nourishment of others. 

Paul was of no importance, however, without him, God in Christ would have lacked a powerful voice in the world. No one was more conscious of their own weakness, failures, shortcomings, and imperfections than Paul.

Were it not for the earthiness of our vessels, we might be tempted to think that all our success is the result of our own power and the glory of our own name. The fact that God can and does use our imperfections, not only in spite of our weaknesses, but because of them, is one of the solid reminders that it's not the vessel that counts, but the contents which it holds.

Our broken vessels crack, leak and sometimes break. It's the fragility of our vessel that protects us from pride and connects us to other broken vessels around us. It's through our chips and fractures that eternal life leaks out, leaving a trail of growth and grace behind. 

Respond:

Invite God to live through your broken places.