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
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