Have you ever poured liquid into a container just to have it run out again? To your dismay there was a crack in the container. It wouldn’t have mattered how much you poured in because it would have assuredly drained out again. You had a broken vessel.
Sometimes I feel like a broken vessel. When my heart is broken by an event which my loving Heavenly Father has allowed in my life, I weep. My chest physically aches to think that this Supreme Being who holds our world in His omnipotent hands has allowed me such pain. Still, He loves me.
I’ve asked how this can be true. I’ve turned my tear-streaked face heavenward and shouted in ignorant irreverence and wonderment, “My earthly father would never have allowed this to happen to me! And You say You love me?” I’m sure my loving Heavenly Father wept with me as He graciously forgave my pain-induced impiety.
Buy why? How? How can He truly love us and allow us to endure such wrenching anguish? It seems trite to simply say it is to help us grow. The growth that follows tormenting situations isn’t like a child advancing in shoe size. It is an entire growth period. Imagine the painful years of puberty crammed into one week. That is often how it feels when we endure growth-producing trials.
The duration of our situations isn’t as important as is our reaction to them. The fact that Jesus is there to hold us and love us through our circumstances is strengthening. Even if we react negatively He is still there with us and will forgive us. He loves us in spite of our reluctant acceptance of His sovereign mandates.
Growth comes through trials and pain. (Doesn’t a plant grow much better after it is pruned?) We can choose to run to Him or from Him. Running from Him makes us scarred and abrasive. It is hard to go through trials without Jesus, and we miss out on the strength obtained through Him. Surely the Psalmist was right when he said, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV).
With a broken heart comes a fractured spirit. While our spirit will heal through the love of Christ, it can stay open. Not an uncomfortable, unhealed open, but cracked nonetheless. Being a broken vessel permits all the love that Jesus puts into us to flow back out again to others — unless, of course, we have allowed ourselves to become scarred.
Isaiah 43:2 (NIV) says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Let our constant prayer be that God will keep us broken so His love might continue to course through us, that we can be a blessing to others. That’s why we’re here!