There is a story about a farmer who had to make a long walk each day down to the stream, where the clear water flowed. To carry the water back, he used two, large, clay pots that he had fashioned with his own hands. These he hung on either end of a long pole that he carried across his neck and shoulders.
Though both pots had seen some years, one was still in perfect condition. The other, however, had a large crack in it, so that when the farmer arrived back home after his long walk, he often had only half the water with which he had started.
The perfect pot was proud of its daily accomplishement, a full pot of water delivered to the farmer’s hut, and it disdained the cracked pot for its inefficiency. It thought to itself, “I am glad that I am not like this worthless pot beside me. I faithfully bring all that I’m given back to the hut of my master.”
And to be sure, the cracked pot was ashamed of the way it wasted water on the way back to the hut each day. If only the crack were not so large or the distance from the stream not so far…. It thought to itself, “My master has been so good to me, and I continue to fail him day after day. I’ll speak to my master and ask his forgiveness.”
So, the next morning, as the farmer was tying each of the pots to the long pole he used to carry them, the cracked pot spoke up. “Master, forgive me; I’m a cracked pot.”
Amused by this sudden revelation, the farmer responded, “I’ve always known that you were cracked. I was there when it happened.”
“Yes, but I’m ashamed that I’m only able to bring half a pot of water back to the hut each day. If I were whole like the other pot, I could bring back all that you trust me with each day.”
“If I had wanted two full pots of water,” the farmer replied, “I would have replaced you a long time ago. Have you not noticed the many flowers on your side of the path as we make our way back to the hut each morning? I planted them on your side, because your crack makes it possible for me to water them each day as I walk. The other pot doesn’t share its water with the path, so nothing grows on its side.”
The Moral of the Story
God is the farmer, and we are the pots. He takes our cracks and uses them for His Kingdom and His glory. Through them, He pours Living Water on a dry and thirsty world. No matter what mistakes we have made, no matter what our imperfections… God will use them if we let Him. Romans 8:28 tells us that:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (emphasis mine)
ALL things. that includes your prodigal years, your physical “imperfections,” your disabilities, your sickness and disease, your insecurities, your failed marriage, your broken relationships, your demotion, your bankruptcy, your lack of intelligence or good looks or charisma or whatever. God uses everything – if we let Him.
And don’t kid yourself. We are all cracked pots. Not one of us is perfect. The “perfect pots” may look perfect on the outside, but they are cracked on the inside because of their pride or because of something else they are doing their best to hide.
The difference between most of us and the “perfect pots” is that we are giving God opportunities to use our cracks. He can’t use “perfect,” because “perfect” won’t admit that it needs God. Remember, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). If we pretend that we can do it ourselves, we rob Him of an opportunity to work through us. If we do it in our own power, we get the glory.
The “perfect pot” was proud of what it accomplished in its own power. But what it missed was the chance to be part of something greater than itself. God never asked us to store His blesssings. He asked us to pour them out as we walk with Him.