Miracles and Broken Vessels
For the year of 2016, I decided to focus on one word a month. In December of 2015, I wrote down multiple words that I want to study from the Bible and I chose 12: one for each month of the year. As a teacher, I glanced through the Bible curriculum that I will be teaching up until May, just to see if there were any words that could coincide with what I will be teaching. I found that at the end of January, I will be teaching about miracles and I immediately knew what word I was going to study in January. Miracles.
As someone who sees the world through rose-colored glasses, I think that not only is my entire life a miracle, but also little events that happen throughout the days, I categorize as “Miracles.” For instance, I woke up and I wasn’t freezing: It’s a miracle! I didn’t hit that curb on the way to work: It’s a miracle! I didn’t burn the macaroni: It’s a miracle! I actually made it through all I had planned to teach in school on a particular day: okay…. this one actually IS a miracle!
However, as I began January and started to find miracles in the Bible and meditate on specific miracles, I decided to look up the definition. Everyone knows what a miracle is and can probably give their own definition, but I was curious to see what the authorities would say on the matter and here is what I found:
Miracle: a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency. Derived from the Latin word meaning Wonderful.
Synonyms: wonder, marvel, sensation, phenomenon, mystery (according to the internet 🙂 )
After reading the definition, I started to think about surprising and welcome events in my life that could not be explained by natural laws. As I thought about this, I began to feel discouraged. Not because God hasn’t made wonderful and marvelous things happen in my life-He in fact has done glorious things! However, things that cannot be explained by scientific laws are an entirely different matter. Yes, there have been a handful of times where I experienced a miracle of God that could not be explained by natural laws, but I wanted EVERYTHING to be a miracle, not just a handful of times. Then, it hit me like a lightning bolt:
You are an earthen vessel. The very fact that God has even chosen to shower you with a handful of miracles and divine guidance through your life is unfathomable.
Earthen vessels. Couldn’t God have chosen another word to describe us? Maybe a cracked iPhone 5? Even that would be better than a cracked earthen vessel. I mean, who uses earthen vessels anymore anyway? It seems like even food can be electronic these days. I am reminded of my very broken state and the very insignificant person I am, especially in view of how big my God is, and I realize that I am incredibly helpless and suddenly feel as though I can be of no use to the One who made me. How can a broken earthen vessel make any difference in this world? (a cracked iPhone 5 can still work…..can’t I be a cracked iPhone 5??) In the back of mind, I recall a quote by a loved American Evangelist, D.L. Moody:
“The only way to keep a broken vessel full is to keep the faucet running.”
So profound and so true. I am taken back to the place where I am SO small and He is SO big. I am so weak and He is so strong. I am so fragile and He is my Rock. I am so dependent and He is so dependable. I am spending life fighting sin and He gives the strength to overcome. I know that broken vessels are of no use to anyone, but for reasons that I could never understand God chose to use broken vessels to describe His servants. The fact that He thinks about and loves a broken vessel like me pushes me to “keep the faucet running” and stay ever-nearer His side because without Jesus pouring out, I am just a broken vessel to go out in the next load of trash.
I’ve never ended a blog like this, but I wanted to share a song that has been so near to my heart. It is sung by the Gaither vocal band and called, “Go Ask.” The most important miracle of all, God choosing to live in our hearts and provide us with a way to spend forever with Him cannot be explained. People have tried to explain it and people have tried to understand it, but the one phrase that probably comes closest to explaining God’s miracle of living within a person is: “I only know, He changed my life.” I am still going to study and live the miracle of God changing my life everyday and I am still going to desperately pray for miracles all around me in this hurting world.
“Go ask the man who’s found the way through tangled roads back home to stay. When all communications were destroyed,
Go ask the child who’s walking now who once was crippled and then somehow her useless legs were made to jump for joy.”