Romans 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.
This mug sits on my window sill and it reminds me of so many things. First let me tell you the story of this mug. The story of the mug is short but the lessons I find within are powerful for me. One day last year we were preparing the soil for our garden and I was trying to decide what to spread the nutrients with; I eventually decided to use one of our coffee mugs. When we finished the garden it may have started to rain or maybe I was just tired but for whatever reason I left the mug. A couple days went by and I didn't even think to go back for the mug, honestly I had forgotten about it. Maybe because we had so many I didn't even notice one was gone. My husband had come across it and decided to use it as target practice; I guess it was just something to do, maybe he took some irritations out on it and didn't think we would really miss one mug. Several days later when he asked me to come see how the seeds had sprouted in the garden I was shocked to discover pieces of the mug in the dirt. Pieces are what remained of the mug. I didn't get a chance or just didn’t feel like picking up the pieces that day so there they lay. A few days passed and when my daughter came inside she tells me “I've got something for you” she hands me my mug. She said “see I fixed it for you, some pieces I couldn't find so I just made them. You could still use it if you needed to, right?” I said yes of course, thank you. I was so surprised, she hadn’t even known it was out there broken. I had been disappointed by leaving it out there in the first place, that it had been broken and I had not picked up the pieces. She had no idea how much this gift would minister to me.
This mug reminds me of my own life and the lives of those I have known. When I look at this mug several things come to mind.
1. We are used by God in many ways
- This was not just a “coffee” mug. The label I had given it didn’t limit the actual possible uses of the mug.
- Through our own perceptions we limit ourselves and others, God doesn’t limit us.
1 Corinthians 12:14-27 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
- We have to remain aware that we are all members of the body of Christ, we have different places within that body, are used in more than one way and all are important.
- Do we value every member in the body of Christ? Are we more concerned with the place others fill or are we examining our own?
2. What we pour out from within us impacts others
- Are we helping people or hurting people? Are we nurturing or poisoning?
-I’ve read many stories of people who planned suicide but did not follow through because of a smile or kind word of a passing stranger.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
-Are we speaking life into others or are we using our words to break others unaware that we are pushing them closer to physical or spiritual death?
3. People often pass by, leave or forget the broken
Luke 10:30-35 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
- Are we like the priest and Levite that saw the man and walked away, are we wounding others and leaving them half dead or do we have compassion like the Samaritan and help?
4. Jesus doesn’t forget or leave the one, He sees the value
Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
-Don’t be so quick to dismiss the broken. Jesus sees the broken and knows they can be used.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
- We should pray for people and lead them to Jesus. Is there anyone we have forgotten or left behind? Will we help pick up their pieces or leave them broken?
5. We can all become broken
-Our brokenness can be the result of our own sin or sins of others committed against us.
This is what David speaks to God after he had gone to Bathsheba
Psalm 51:8-10 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
-Times of brokenness often leads to growth. Have we forgotten lessons we’ve learned in our own times of brokenness?
6. Our own attempts at fixing the broken will be incomplete
-Broken people can be fragile and need to see the love of God through us.
1 John 3:17-18 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
- Don’t break others in hope it will strengthen them, God may allow brokenness to come along in their lives so He can strengthen us but we need to leave that job to Him.
-Broken people need compassion and to be reminded of their value. We can’t fix everything but we should help where we can.
- Is our love for others just words spoken or are they shown true through our actions?
7. The broken can still be used
-Many in the Bible were used of God while broken, their experiences are still being used to teach of God’s power.
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
-Are we viewing the broken as useless or used for God’s glory?
8. Jesus will always put the pieces back together
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
-This speaks of Jesus taking BROKEN people and making them HEALED.
• the captives
• those in darkness
• the prisoners
• those who are mourning and grieving
• the poor
• the blind
• the oppressed
Through the salvation of Jesus all broken people are made into:
-trees of righteousness (A symbol of stability and strength, this describes the new condition of God's people.)
-the planting of the Lord (Planted by Christ never to be rooted out, this gives us soundness and stability.)
-that he might be glorified (This is the means by which God may reveal himself to the world.)
-Are we trusting Jesus to mend the broken people we know?
-Are we aware of the broken pieces within our own life or are we carrying them around instead of giving them to Jesus?
The Broken Vessel
Crash! The vessel Hit the floor
Broken in pieces, Whole no more.
She knelt to pick The pieces up
“Oh No!”, she cried, “I won’t give up!”
…Then saw the pieces Weren’t all there
Yet stayed her task To mend…repair.
Her heart the vessel Now so broken,
Once more she knelt With words unspoken
And gave the pieces All to God
Her mending skills Had proven flawed.
With folded hands And eyes downcast,
She prayed one day Her pain would pass
Her heart was never Quite the same
Though patched, it seemed Some cracks remained.
She called out “Lord, What shall I do?
I’m still not whole I trusted You!”
He answered her, “I left some cracks
Once shattered You can ne’er go back.”
“My Child,” He said, “I thought you knew
The cracks are where Your light shines through.”
I'm a wife of 20 years to a husband that consistently chooses to love me despite my flaws and a mother of 3 wonderful, loving and giving children. I have 6 babies waiting for me up in Heaven. I'm imperfect, often broken and learning; you will see many aspects of what makes me the person I am throughout this blog. You will find no condemnation from me. I have my fair share of problems and battles, I win some and lose some but by God's grace I'm continuing in the good fight. I'm attempting to live life authentically and I enjoy the many blessings God has given both in happiness and pain. I don't have any formal education in Biblical Studies and I don't claim to be an expert. I'm just sharing experiences and lessons I am learning or trying to learn as I go through life.