I’m sure like me, most of you girls enjoy a good shopping day! Okay, maybe not. But let’s say I dragged you along on one of mine. We decide to drive to a high end department store to purchase an item. When we arrive at the store, you locate an item on display in its beautiful box. You really want this item, but when you opened that box, you found that the item was broken into pieces. Would you move on past it? Would you pay full price for it? If you did decide to purchase it, would you walk out with it, overwhelmed with love and joy at the purchase you had just made? Would you desire to put this broken vessel on display for the world to see, and then spend all your time rebuilding it into what it should be?
As I study the life of the sinful woman in Luke 7, I can’t help but picture a life I long to have Jesus working on. How often do we try to maintain a high end department store life style? We long to have it all together, neatly packaged for all the world to see. We keep the appearances up for our friends, family and those around us because we want them to be so proud of who we are becoming, not what we once were. I fear sometimes we even try to carry out that appearance for Jesus Christ Himself. The fear of humility and being revealed before all scares us to death. We would rather spend all of our energy investing in keeping the outward appearances up, than to reveal the true beauty of our brokenness. Yet it is exactly that broken vessel that Christ wants. That is the one the Christ does seek out and willingly purchases for Himself.
It’s the opposite of our perception. The things which look like they hold much worth and value to the world, seem to be the very things our flesh is drawn to when we choose to be led by our sinful nature. Those things set themselves up in our minds in hopes of keeping us on a search for and remaining in that which has no significant value to Christ. The very things that in fact separate us from Him. This sinful women in Luke 7 had no doubt, that when she entered uninvited to this dinner with Jesus, humility and shame lurked all around her. Those who knew her, would use their piercing eyes to condemn her. Notice I said condemn. They weren’t concerned about making a correct judgement to lovingly pointing her towards the truth. No. They had such thoughts as to not even allow her the hope of truly repenting and changing. The kind of judgement that was meant to leave her hopeless and without any way to find forgiveness. But even at that moment, their thoughts, whispers and even glances could not slow her from coming to her Lords feet. She hadn’t entered into this dinner with the hopes of luring Jesus to become just another man in her life. Surely she could have. I have no doubt, like many of us, there were voids and cracks in her life that she wanted filled. We also don’t see her coming to make light of her lifestyle or even with hopes that Jesus will excuse her sins, while she seeks to justify the choices she has made to Him. Before the cross and resurrection ever happened, this woman saw a Savior who could set her free from these sins that so easily entangled. These sins that held her hostage to the glances and whispers of those within her town. The ones that would not let her sleep at night because they weighed so heavy on her heart and mind. She came so broken and saddened by her sins, that it was only her faith that would allow her to see past the opinions of others, and towards her desire to be rebuilt by the Master Potter. It was only Christ’s love and mercy that would offer all He had, to purchase this broken vessel and rebuild her into something of significant value and worth.
Ladies, I wonder, are we willing to find beauty in our brokenness? Not excuses for our sins. Not cheap grace to serve as a license for immorality (as Jude warns about). Only an earnest desire to find Jesus wherever He is, no matter who sees us and to offer Him a beautiful broken vessel. Are we the women that will have the faith to say, I no longer desire to be what I was, but to offer all I should be to the glory of our Lord Jesus? Will we cling to His feet knowing that only He has the power to turn something broken into something beautiful? I know that this is what Jesus wants for me and for you. Once He begins to build my broken heart, my broken life, why would I ever want to return to my original condition? Why would you ladies? Our love for Him should be much, because our Lord has loved us much. And yet, we must be totally willing to come before him humble and broken, with a heart so desiring to be rebuilt. If we only allow Him to repair, we are asking Him to fix what is already there in our lives. If we just bring little cracks here and there, it is like patching an old wineskin or cracked clay vessel. We are asking Him to fix areas of our lives that we think are okay to hold onto. Maybe it is an unhealthy relationship. Has the enemy placed someone in your life to tempt you or discourage you from change? Come broken and open before the Lord and ask Him to be your strength and victory. Has your bank account become your source of contentment and joy? Are you willing to compromise on values for the sake of money? Come before the Lord open and broken and ask Him to be your source of joy and contentment. He will! How the Lord so desires that my life and your life be completely open and broken before Him. Not just with a crack of transparency, that kind where just a little light can enter in. You know, just enough to expose, but not enough to need rebuilding. We must be a completely broken vessel that stands no hope except to be thrown out unless it is totally rebuilt. We need Jesus to rebuild our lives and restore it into something new. A new creation that longs to display His life-changing power! In closing, I would like to share a poem with you that I wrote as I was thinking about what we need for Christ to do in our own lives. Not what we think we need, but what He expects from us. I hope this will bless you in some small way.
Today I found a treasure box
I thought I’d throw away,
a tiny, empty, dirty box
of old and mirey clay
But then I found my favorite ring
I thought I should display,
So now this empty, dirty box
will surely have to stay
I cleaned it off, I painted it
to make it look brand new,
but then I found there was one thing
that I forgot to do
Those little cracks, they were not fixed
that paint it seeped right through,
and now I found my favorite ring
can no longer be used
Next time I’ll know when things are cracked
they can’t be fixed by my own plans,
instead they must be broken
and rebuilt by the Potters hands. (ST)