Ever been confronted with a big mound of clay and it’s your job to make something useful out of it? the teacher says “today’s project is to make something useful, not merely decorative. Your object can be pretty, but it will have a purpose”
So now you sit and think of all the different objects you can make with this blob of dirt. Okay it’s a specific type of dirt – clay – but it’s still dirt. what can you make? what need exists in your life? or is the vessel for someone else?
If you need to wash someone’s face, you might make a basin that will allow for splashing, and maybe one to pour the water from.
If you need to bathe a baby you would make one even wider, a very shallow basin.
If you are looking to store wine to keep it cool and pour it at need, you would want to make something with thick walls and a narrow neck.
If you need to serve food, the vessel might be a small bowl, or plate. Or if you know you will be serving lots of people, you would of course want to make a bigger bowl.
If thirst quenching water is needed, a cup, or even a dipper will do, but if you want to retain warmth, a thick walled mug might be better.
The possibilities are endless.
Now lets approach the problem from another angle. What if you had a wine vessel? Already made and fired. Firm. Strong. Very set in it’s form and function. One with a narrow neck and thick walls and it is the one vessel available, but you KNOW you are going to need to wash a baby. Would you consider breaking the wine vessel and glueing the pieces back together in a different configuration so that you could wash the baby?
This is assuming of course that you had some kind of divine power and you could fill in the gaps and smooth out the rough edges.
Not too long ago, Angie Smith posted about a time in her life when she (as a form of therapy) deliberately broke a vase and put it back together. She draws some very interesting conclusions from that exercise. Go read it and then come back here.
Now I’m going to add to her analogy:
What if every time God breaks me it is because he needs not just to shine through the cracks in my life, but to make a new vessel in a whole different shape than it was before?
What if the shape of what I was is not going to fill the need God has for my future?