2 Corinthians 12:9, The Lutheran Bible
“And He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.”
God knows all about our strengths and our gifting, but He also knows all about our weaknesses, our difficulties and our limitations. So often we feel inadequate for the tasks which we are entrusted with or the challenges of life we have to face. We feel so small and often there is that sense of having failed. The enemy loves to whisper these kinds of lies into our ears. I was very much encouraged by a story I was recently told:
“In India there once lived a water carrier who carried two big jugs of water on his shoulders along a road. One of these two jugs had a big crack through which the water dripped out along the route between the well and the master’s house. Whenever they reached the house, one jug was only half full. The other one, however, could always deliver to its full capacity.
We can imagine how the cracked jug talked to his carrier:
“I feel so bad, ashamed and inadequate!” said the jug.
“Why is that?” the master asked.
“Because, due to my terrible crack, I have only been able to bring half of the water to your house.” the jug replied.
“Don’t worry!” the master said, “Have you seen the beautiful flowers along the way between the well and the house?”
“No”, the jug answered.
So the master finally told the cracked jug: “I knew exactly about your crack and that you lost a lot of water along the way. So I put flower seeds along your side of the road knowing that you would water them. For years now I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table in my dining room.””
Do we commit our weak points and our human inadequacy into our Master’s hands? In His infinite wisdom He can use them for His glory. Jesus says that without Him we can’t do anything , but that with Him all things are possible. In one way or another we are all like cracked pots in our potter’s hands. I have found that in the place of my deepest need God has often used me in extraordinary and unexpected ways. In those instances I knew that I knew that it was God who did it as there was nothing left of myself to offer.
I have met deeply broken people who have such a strong fragrance of Jesus around them and have often been a source of inspiration, comfort and encouragement to me. In Psalm 31:12 David describes himself as a broken vessel. God promises that He is close to the broken hearted. A life entirely committed to God will always be a precious vessel and tool in God’s hands, reflecting His glory. According to Isaiah 65, God is able to bring forth beauty from ashes, joy from sadness, life from death, freedom from captivity and restoration from failure. The question Jesus is asking us is not ‘what can you do for me or what are your talents?’ Rather He is asking us ‘do you love me?’
If we are able to answer this question with a yes from the bottom of our hearts then nothing is impossible for Him to do through us. Even if the enemy presses in on our weak areas we don’t have to lose heart but can take courage. Don’t forget that this side of Heaven we are an imperfect and yet precious work in progress and that God can use us any time He wishes. If He is for us, who or what could be against us?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to realise that you are not a performance oriented God, but a God who is interested in a loving, personal relationship. I am so grateful that you are not limited by my weaknesses, inadequacies or limitations, but can be glorified through them as I trust You. Please help me, Father, to discern the enemy’s voice when he tries to put me down and condemn me in my weak areas. Help me to be strong and overcome in you. In the name of your precious son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.