Yesterday, I wrote a blog entitled In Spite Of Myself in which I talked about what God can do with us; even if we are "cracked pots". A comment made by @clifrad got me to thinking about how "cracks" are not always necessarily a negative thing.
Yes, no one wants to drink out of a cracked vessel. Generally when something is cracked and broken, we throw it away but not God. Instead, He transforms us. Now there are "cracks" which He mends instantly when we become a new creature in Christ. POOF! The crack is gone. HOORAY! But I have uh... noticed that sometimes, there are some cracks or flaws which remain.
This is not to say that we are not a new creation in Christ nor am I suggesting that God is incapable of removing these cracks in our lives. However, sometimes God deems it best for us to roll up our sleeves and get involved in the process. In education we call it "learning experiences" and it is more critical than what you think. It is how we are wired to learn, retain and apply what we have learned to new situations and it is the most effective way to grow.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about a thorn in the flesh. Now while scholars do not agree upon exactly what this was, they do agree it was something which gave him a bit of trouble which he wanted removed. Something was giving him grief you might say; whether it was physical, mental or emotional, we do not know. We only know it was something which troubled him greatly. It sort of sounds like some sort of annoying "crack" to me.
In the beginning of chapter 12, Paul is recounting a wonderful vision he had fourteen years earlier but then partway through verse seven Pal writes,
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.- 2 Corinthians 12:7b
He goes on to say:
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.- 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Do we really understand that when we are weak, when we have these "cracked" and "broken" places in our lives, the Light of God who dwells within us, shines through us all the more brightly?
Imagine two people. One person seems to have the perfect life. They have the perfect marriage, the perfect job, perfect looks, perfect health, perfect children, etc. Who do you see when you look at them? Do you automatically see Christ or do you simply see them and are awe-struck by the awesome life they're made for themselves?
Now you look at the other person. Life has not been easy for them. Maybe they have a spouse who treats them horribly or they battle with illness. Maybe they lost their job or they're facing challenges with their children. Yet when you look at all the "cracks" in their life, you notice something. You watch them as they trust God regardless of their circumstances and what do you see. Do you see them or do you see the Light of Jesus Christ shining through those cracks?
When we allow the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, to shine through our "cracks", the world sits up and takes notice. When they do, they do not see the cracks... they see the Light and come to understand that God is greater than anything we can ever encounter in this world.
Great analogy about cracks and light shining through. I think we all have cracks, some are just easier to see than others. Maybe the "perfect couple" is "crackless" in the more obvious areas. If you look real close, the cracks become more visible. This is not to say that the perfect couple is necessarily ungodly, or the flawed people are necessarily godly. I think it can work both ways. Sometimes the perfect people seem to have it all for a long time, then WHAMO!, something devestating happens. Charles Krautheimer, (sp?) the political analyist, M.D., and around brilliant guy seemed to have it all, then a horrific car accident paralyzed him. Now God has a giant crack to work with. Anyway, I love your image of God working and shining thru the "cracks" in our lives. - bibleguy64