Sometimes Hidden Treasure Shines Through the Cracks

Sometimes Hidden Treasure Shines Through the Cracks

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

       I always wanted to be a Ming Vase for God.

        Beautiful. Exotic. Perfect. Wouldn’t that be a powerful witness to my great God? Think of the people who would flock to faith once they experienced me in all my loveliness — always being, saying and doing the Right Thing!

        Alas, it was not to be. 

        No Ming vases here. I saw in the mirror a clay pot — the gal next door. 

        Finally, I was where God wanted me to be.

Now He could pour His light and treasure into my simple vessel and thus it would be noticed for what it was. God’s power. God’s glory. God’s beauty. Manifested from the center of an ordinary life.

“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.” 2 Corinthians 4.7 

Yesterday my live radio interview host, Lynne, had read my new one-word-a-day devotional, “Dwelling Places,” and was sharing about the words that had most ministered to her. One was the word “return,” about returning to the Lord and what that can mean in our lives. Lynne said that just after she read those two pages, she encountered a prodigal — a woman who insisted she was now closer to the devil than to God. Since Lynne had just read all those words of hope and grace and mercy that Jesus extends to the wanderer, she passed along what she had learned. 

        “May I read your closing prayer from that day – ‘return’ — on the air right now?” she asked. 

        As I listened to words I had written only a year before I began to weep quietly.

        I was so deeply aware that God was the one who had put those words in me to share with others. He is the “hidden treasure” inside this ordinary person. And because I allowed Him to use me, He was glorified and perhaps a broken soul was encouraged.

            In this text we are called  “unadorned clay pots.”  How easily we break! How utterly chipped and cracked, faded and fragile we are — particularly after a lifetime of pouring out. We wonder if we are too damaged to be used, too weak to fight the battles. But the more holes in our armor, the brighter our light shines from within.

        Madeleine L’Engle observes, “If we are qualified, we tend to think we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’ work with our own or God’s glory with our own.”

        When we finally meet — and I sincerely hope we will one day — you will see an older woman with laugh lines, bling, extra pounds and big hair. A woman who fails daily, but finally has enough sense to confess and receive forgiveness, tentatively moving forward in my favorite cowboy boots.

Actually, you might not even notice me. Well, except for the light.

I sure hope on the day we meet, a glow just happens to be peeking through from where my heavenly Father dwells deep inside. Then you will know the truth about me.

        It really is All About Him.

under the mercy, Cindy

©2017 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net

NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!

Order my book  “Dwelling Places” from Amazon HERE under $10

Order my book  “Dwelling Places” from ChristianBook HERE under $10

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6 Responses to Sometimes Hidden Treasure Shines Through the Cracks

  1. maggierowe says:

    Cindy, you are so much more than a Ming vase could ever be. In the 25+ years I have known you, I have constantly marveled at how much you accomplish, and the weight of achievements that one petite woman can carry! You have inspired and encouraged me again today. I am looking forward to more time in the future for “standing still and being astonished.”

  2. Gigi Busa says:

    Cindy, I specifically was touched by the words, utterly chipped and cracked, faded and and fragile… particularly after a lifetime of giving out. The Lord has placed me in a time out with Him revealing over four years areas I thought He and I had dealt with. It has been at times frightening and lonely, but His Presence and love have never been more tender.
    Thank you for allowing the Lord to speak to me. Love you Friend. Gigi

    • Gigi! This is so weird as I was thinking about you YESTERDAY and even looked up all your NavPress Bible studies online and thought, “I sure wish I could catch up with her…” Thank you for reading and posting and reconnecting. Please let me know if you’re around Hartford any time… Also check out this wonderful retreat which I think you would LOVE… http://www.reNEWwriting.com My email is encouragingwords@snet.net Great to catch up!

  3. Gigi Busa says:

    Thank you for thinking of me. I will pass on th retreat though. The Lord has me in a season of rest and Being. Love you

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