New Beginnings Church is to be a place where the hurting can find comfort, where broken and even ruined lives can find restoration and healing. It is also to be a place where those gifted by God for ministry can serve Christ in ways best suited to how God has shaped them. To illustrate, consider the story below.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each 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 to 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 your 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.” ~Author unknown~
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots in one way or another. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks He has appointed for you, don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway. Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength, and that “In Him every one of God’s promises is a Yes.”
I love the analogy in this story because it reminds me of what it says in Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8, both verses confirm that all of of us fail to meet the mark of God’s holiness. But just like the story above, the Lord uses the weak, the feeble, the unimportant to accomplish his work. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians this in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31…
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written,”Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
That message in 1 Corinthians gets lost completely in our secular American culture. This is demonstated best by our obsession to television shows like “American Idol”. Unfortunately Paul’s message gets lost in our traditional, and yes, even today’s “hip hop” upbeat churches, whenever the focus gets aways from the 5 main purposes of the church, and focus instead on bringing in the best talent and the brightest stars. That may be good, and it may entertain us to the highest degree, but it cannot compare to the depth of the riches of God’s blessings when HE gives the increase and it is not whipped up by our frail and foolish efforts. At New Beginnings Church, even the cracked and broken hearted can find in Christ… just that, a NEW Beginning!