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A water bearer in India had two large pots, both hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
2 Corinthians 4:7 declares “we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
The treasure spoken in this verse is the greatest treasure ever known. The treasure is Jesus Christ. It is amazing that by God’s great grace every believer houses this treasure in their fragile and flawed “jars.” Every Christ follower has this treasure, not to show off how good they are, but good and gracious God is. How powerful and transforming Jesus is.
Isn’t it amazing that despite our flaws, God still uses us for His kingdom and glory. The bible is full of “cracked pots.” Moses murdered, Jacob deceived, Rahab prostituted, and Peter denied Christ and went back to his old way of life. Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to make a divine difference in our world.
If you are reading this and you are a Christ follower, allow the treasure of Jesus Christ to spill into others lives from your cracked pot. If you are not a follower of Christ, invite Him into your “cracked pot.” He will gladly come into your life.
If you do not have a church home we invite you to join us at Ghent Baptist Church. Bible study starts at 9:45 a.m. And our worship service starts at 10:50 a.m. We also have a Wednesday night service called Oasis at 7 p.m. This is a contemporary service open to all people. May God’s richest blessings be yours this week. Love God and love people.
Brother Graham Reynolds is pastor of the Ghent Baptist Church in Ghent, Ky.