Cracked Vessels

A word came to me as I was taking my early morning walk about the subject of cracked vessels. It dawned upon me that most of the people who ether wrote the Bible or those who played very significant roles during those times were imperfect people. From the very beginning up until current times the ones chosen by God to achieve His divine feats were not high and mighty, righteous candidates.

We know from the very beginning Adam sinned right out the gate. Abraham was a liar, Moses was a murderer, the great prophets were men that people thought were crazy, King David was an adulterer, his son Solomon worshipped strange gods, the disciples of Christ didn’t truly believe He was the Son of God and one even denied Him; the great apostle Paul (Saul) persecuted the Jews and the list goes on and on. The Holy Bible reveals a collection of people who were used by God to deliver His messages of hope and faith but they were nearly all cracked vessels. Why would God select such imperfect specimens to achieve such important missions?

As I look at our modern times the people we idolize for feats of great heroism and moral leadership were punished, beaten, or even killed doing things to help others who were not as fortunate. It appears that righteous people have to go through the most horrific of experiences just because of their desire to serve righteousness, either willingly or unwillingly.

Do you remember the biblical story of Jonah who God commanded to admonish the people of Nineveh for their wickedness but Jonah refused because he thought that God would do something favorable for wicked people who Jonah did not think deserved what God was offering? Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale before he came to his senses and finally delivered Gods message to the people of Nineveh and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them. The people were spared because they heeded the word from God and turned from their wickedness. Why does God use so many cracked vessels such as Jonah? Are God’s choices that limited? Are there no good godly people available to accomplish such divine missions?

Then it dawned upon me…in order for a person to become a vessel worthy of being used by God that vessel must first be fortified. It needs to go through some stuff before it is capable of being used by God. If it is too weak it will not be able to hold what God is prepared to pour into it. It has to be severely tested before the Lord can pour His most precious gifts in such a vessel. So naturally after all that battering and purification the vessels would naturally become cracked.

I remember a similar message that the apostle Paul mentioned about the things he was experiencing. It was without doubt that God had great plans to use Paul to deliver His messages to the people but in order to keep Paul from thinking more highly of himself than was warranted he was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul continued on finally appreciating what the Lord had chosen for him, even in going through the torment that he was suffering and stated the following:

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." V. 9-10.

Imagine being used by the Creator of the entire universe to achieve something that helps God achieve His mission for mankind. Such a vessel must be humbled beforehand otherwise they most certainly would become conceited thinking more highly of themselves personally because God had hand-selected them for such an important mission. I can’t speak for you, but my head would be so swollen that it wouldn’t be able to fit on my neck. Perhaps it is best that we are weakened first so through weakness God can really use us as He chooses. He has to knock our egos down first. It takes a cracked vessel to do God’s work, one fortified so that the enemy can’t completely shatter.

There are great cracked vessels amongst us today but you may not know them, see them or even hear from them because no one really pays attention to things that are not pleasant to view. They prefer instead to view the pretty shinny things. On the other hand the ones that have not been cracked are not as trustworthy. They have not gone through the fire of life in order to be able to withstand all the pressure that will come at them. They are too fragile and worry more about what people think of them. They do not delight in being weak so they do not have the strength to carry such an important mission from God. They have not been through the test of faith to withstand the battle.

Remember, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Believing in things that are clearly seen requires no faith. God wants vessels that are willing to do His deeds based upon faith alone. They do it because they accept Him, as He exists, in Spirit and in truth, not as seen by the human eyes. That is what cracked vessels do. They are not the fancy shinny ones that you’d put up on the mantle for all to see and gleam. He prefers the ones who have been worn down, beaten up, and cast aside. Those are the ones He knows will serve only His will and not for their personal glory, but instead give all the glory to God from which it came.

Even though you might not like how it feels to be a cracked vessel, perhaps there is solace in knowing that God only choses to use such vessels for His special missions that embellishes the kingdom of heaven. It is said that all the angels in heaven rejoice even when just one soul is returned to God. What a privilege…what a privilege. If God’s kingdom is served, then His grace is sufficient for us all. We should boast all the more in our weakness, for when we are weak,  we know that we are strong. If you can relate to this message that must mean that you also feel like a cracked vessel at times, but also know, that is a privilege… oh what a privilege! Glory to God most High.