Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I had several people ask me to repeat or send them the story I used to close the message last Sunday entitled “GOD USES CRACKED POTS.” In my opinion, the theme verse of 2 Corinthians is, “But we have this treasure (thesaurus) in jars of clay (ostrakinos) to show that this all-surpassing (huperbole) power (dunamis) is from God and not from us.” (2Cor 4:7)

There is a beautiful fable that comes from the East (both China and India) that illustrates a wonderful truth about how God can use cracked pots.
Once upon a time there was an elderly Chinese woman who owned two large clay pots. She would hang each pot on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. Every day she would walk from her house to the nearby stream to fetch water. She would fill both pots, pick up the pole and walk back to her house. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full pot of water. At the end of the long walk back to her house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full. Because of the crack, half the water had leaked out during the trek.

For two full years, this happened daily. The Chinese woman arrived home with only one-and-a-half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud that it had never lost a drop of precious water. But the poor, cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection and was miserable, thinking it was a complete failure. One day, the cracked pot was so tired of failing that it spoke to the woman. The cracked pot said, “I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. I have failed you, and I’m sorry. Maybe you need to replace me with another pot that isn’t cracked.”

The old woman smiled and said gently, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other side? I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on the path on your side. And every day as I’ve walked back you’ve been watering those seeds. For the past two years I’ve been able to pick the flowers to decorate my table. Without you being just the way you are, there would have been no beautiful flowers to grace my home.”
The cracked pot no longer felt like a failure, nor was it jealous of the perfect pot. Instead, the cracked pot continued to contain and share the precious cargo it carried.

One of the mysteries of the Bible is how God uses less-than-perfect vessels for His service. You don’t have to read far into the Bible to see that the “heroes” of the faith, weren't always heroic. Abraham lied; Jacob cheated; Moses murdered; David committed adultery; and Peter blasphemed. God can use cracked vessels. So don’t despair if there are flaws and failings in your life; God can use cracked vessels who are clean and empty!