But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. (2Corinthians 4:7-11)
Chopping vegetables at the kitchen counter, family togetherness percolated throughout the house. The football game in the living room, little ones running up and down the stairs, and my daughter and I in the kitchen talking over the cutting board. She said, “I was thinking about family traits lately and in particular, about the stubbornness that runs on both sides of our family.” “What?” I thought, “MY family? Stubborn?” I heard very little else she said after that and while I watched her lips move, it dawned on me that God was asking if I’d like a little help to see one of my blind spots. Sheesh! Not really. But if I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that saying yes to God always changes me for the better, even if it hurts a little — so I opened my eyes and said, ” I want to see.”
Blind-spots. These “spots”, so to speak, are behaviors, plain to our family and friends but opaque to us. They are often deeply rooted in our early development with origins that vary from birth order to trauma to temperament and a host of other things that make us, us — both beautiful and broken. You can be quite certain that these are the areas in need of healing and love along with the skilled pressure of the Potter’s hands. The problem with being shaped is that often what is needed to soften our rough edges is heat and following God into the fire, even if it is a refining one, burns. Who wants to know that they are stubborn or lazy, self-absorbed, negative, blunt or prickly?
No doubt, being willing to know our blind-spots takes courage but it also powerfully positions us to be changed!
That is my great hope when I hear the knock that invites me to open my heart to a Light that will reveal my spots, blind and otherwise. The image of a cracked pot with all-surpassing power bursting from its brokenness gives me a picture of what goes on when I bring all of myself to God — and make peace with who I am today. Christ in me, spilling through the cracks and beaming from my broken places gives me courage to yield to the Potter who keeps pouring out His life and shaping His image in me.
What a realization that it’s not perfection that I must pursue but a life given and open, attentive, listening, and willing to follow my Savior into the fire that makes me His — broken and beautiful clay pot.
“Thank you, Father, for holy nudges that alert me to things you want to change in me. Give me courage to know, confess and trust that you are always a good and excellent Potter. I am grateful that you know all of me, all the time and are faithful to hold me in the fire while you make me more like Jesus. Amen.”
What about you?
Can you sense when God is speaking to you?
How do you feel when you become aware of a blind spot? How do you respond?
What do you think and feel when you see the image of the broken pot filled with light?
(*Thank you Robert S. Mack for helping get this image out of my head and onto paper. It is my daily prayer.)
Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition