I. Love. Coffee. Mugs.
I have so many different coffee mugs from different places around the world and from different seasons of my life. I have fancy coffee mugs, little cute clay mugs, and large this-is-way-too-much-coffee-for-anything-I-could-possibly-do-today mugs. But the unfortunate thing about my mugs is that I can’t use all of them. So I keep many of them stored in a cabinet under my other coffee things.
Though this is a great storage idea for me, this is a treasure trove for my 1 year old daughter. Often, I will come home to find one of those mugs out on the floor because she thought it would be really fun to play with. And other times, I find myself in the sad situation having to clean up a mug that actually meant something to me (more than just a play toy).
The thing about breaking a coffee mug is that it suddenly becomes less useful, especially if it breaks into many pieces. And even when it is glued back together with all the pieces replaced in the right position, it still finds a way to leak out of a crack that I wasn’t able to completely repair. A broken coffee mug instantly becomes less valuable.
And for a lot of us, we see our lives this way. Many of us have been broken by tough situations or hardships in this life. Our spirit is crushed, we get rejected, we ruin our chance, we lose something we had placed hope in, and we find ourselves feeling broken. And the subtle thought that often follows is that we are no longer valuable.
But I love what Paul said to the church in Corinth, a church that was filled with messed up and broken people. He said, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:7-9)
In other words, to deny our brokenness is to deny reality. It is completely fine to recognize, and even lament, our long list of imperfections. But they don’t render us useless. On the contrary, our imperfections are the platform for God to display his perfection!
We are all like my broken mugs. We are vessels meant to posses something very valuable and then pour it out into someone’s experience. And we have all been broken, cracked, or struck down at some point.
But unlike those mugs, these imperfections don’t render us useless. In fact, they make us more useful! They serve to display the grace of God that supernaturally fills us up (despite how much we leak) every single day. And they serve to share the glory of God from our vessel to someone else.
For anyone whose goal is to be so flawless that they receive the adoration and praise (worship) of others, this is an impossible concept to understand. They are trying to be their own god, not glorify the eternal, living God. But for anyone who truly desires to see God magnified in their lives, and other people served with his grace, this truth is magnificently glorious!
This broken, cracked, leaky vessel is a container of God’s glorious grace, and it serves to pour that grace into the lives of the people around me.
My imperfections are the platform for God to display his perfection!
And so I pray, “Lord, please take this broken vessel and fill me up with your Spirit in your grace. And please display your brilliant grace through every crack in me, through all the leaks I have, and through my imperfect attempts to pour your grace out to others. Please display your perfect grace through my imperfect life. Be glorified in my brokenness. Amen.”
So, as always… Be authentic. Give hope.
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that my 30 day devotional Walking With God is now in paperback and in Kindle e-reader on Amazon! If you’d like, you can get it for yourself, your friends, or your loved ones right here. I know this devotional has really benefited my spiritual walk, and I seriously think it would for you, too!