Broken Vessels Are Useful

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

I was frightened out of my wits. There I was, only about 11 years at the time, when the “big bullies” next door (12 year olds) came up to me and started abusing me. They pushed me to the ground and held a sharp knife to my throat and all I could think of, as I lay there in fright, was, “Is this your idea of having fun, pushing people around?” It certainly wasn’t mine! In fact, the whole thing served to alienate me from those two “big bullies” who really, deep down, were no different than I was (in need of love, affection, acceptance, etc). Well, I can say for sure that that experience did leave its lasting impact upon my soul. I’m think I’m still struggling through it, as a matter of fact!

Recently, I woke up feeling a lot emotional, physical, and spiritual pain. It was anguish “to the max.” What on earth was going on? I began to pray, asking the Lord about it, and in the midst of it just cried, while at the same time, distincly sensing, “The Lord is doing a work here. This is wonderful” (not the pain being wonderful, but the work which God was doing). As I just lay there on my bed, trying to intercede for both my wife and two children (trying to be effective in the midst of my pain), the tears began to roll down my eyes, and I suddenly remembered these two big bullies who had pinned me to the ground that day — oh, that must have been 25 years ago now (I’m 36).

Yes, God was doing a work. He was doing a healing work in me, and releasing me, believe it or not, of pain which I had carried around from some 25 years. For some of you, this rings a bell. You are saying to yourself, “Yes, I can understand that. I’ve been through it, too, only, it wasn’t being pushed to the ground, it was rape, it was incest, it was torture, it was disease, it was loneliness, it was unforgiveness in my family, and deep suffering among many family members.” And for some of you, it hasn’t been 25 years. It has been even longer.

I want you to know today that you are not alone in your suffering. God cares. He hears you. One day, all justice will be done, even though today, you may be still grieving over a lost child, a lost relationship, a lost opportunity that really, you think, “would have made a good difference” in your life, and in your walk with God. But God, in times past, has never been in the habit of using perfectly “all together” vessels for his glory, but rather, perfectly broken ones. They serve his purposes much better, you see, because when the glory goes into such a vessel, at least it doesn’t stay in that vessel, but leaks out all over the place as a fragrant aroma that everone can smell, so that God can be glorified by it, and people be build up through it.

Be broken, and be used, and don’t worry about the past. Because God has a great and wonderful plan for your life.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).