One Saturday I stopped by a flea market in search of a piece of pottery. I wasn’t looking for anything specific just something cheap to use in a lesson on Sunday morning. I found a nice green pitcher for four dollars. I had made no connection with this piece. It was simply a piece to be used for an object lesson, but what happened over the next few hours changed my feelings completely.
That evening as I sat with the pitcher and my Bible to finish preparing my lesson, I grew to appreciate the color and the design more and more. The following morning I carried the beautiful green pitcher into our women’s class where several of the women commented on its beauty.
After reading Jeremiah 18:2-6, we had some discussion about how we are like a piece of clay and God is the potter. When we become broken, He does not throw us out but instead continues to mold and shape us. There are countless things in this world that leave us broken. Mistakes made and experiences endured all bang us around, leave their mark, and cause us to be broken.
I then reached into my bag and pulled out a hammer as the women gasped and begged me not to do what they feared was about to happen. One lady even asked me to wait and replace the pitcher with something not as beautiful, but I continued. It was very difficult for all of us each time the hammer hit the pitcher.
I had grown to love this pitcher as I prepared for the lesson, and I could just imagine how God’s love for us grows as He formed us and continues to mold us throughout our lives. I know the disappointment that was felt around the room over a cheap piece of pottery purchased at a flea market was very small in comparison to the grief our Father feels each time we sin, each time we hurt, each time we become broken. And yet, Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand. Isaiah 64:8
During the next week I spent time mending the broken pitcher. Unfortunately, it did not go back together as nicely as I had hoped. Hot glue takes up space as it dries and resulted in pieces which did not fit together well and caused gaps in other areas. Also some pieces were so small that it was impossible to determine where they belonged. Gaping holes remained in their space.
Being broken is not easy, but the good news is God does not toss us out. Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. No matter how broken we become, God will continue to mold and make us into something beautiful until Jesus returns.
Even though God picks up the pieces and restores our lives through forgiveness and continuing to mold us, a memory of each break and the sins that caused them will remain. But by God’s grace, each crack is now filled with God’s unending love and mercy.
We are all cracked pots. We have all suffered from brokenness. As God restores that brokenness, our job is to allow His love to pour out through the cracks to those around us who are broken, so that they too can be mended by the master potter.