By Dot Bowen
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:1-4 (NIV)
When my dad passed away, I received a cross that belonged to him. This special cross is more than a representation of Christ’s sacrifice for me; it’s a reminder of my earthly father and my love for him.
A few years ago, in the middle of the night, I heard a crash so loud it jarred me from my sleep. I immediately woke Howard, but he couldn’t find the source of the noise. He assured me we were safe, so we went back to sleep. The next morning I walked into my office and found my dad’s cross shattered into tiny pieces on floor. I fell to my knees in tears. Howard walked in while I was gathering each small piece and placing them in plastic bags. He understood why I was so grieved because he knew how much my dad’s cross meant to me. But no matter how much I cried or tried to put the pieces back together, I couldn’t! When I was gathering the shattered pieces of the cross, I was reminded of the time in my life when I gathered the shattered pieces of my life and gave all I had to God.
My dad’s shattered cross makes me think about the times I have felt broken. Just like the cross, no matter how I tried, I couldn’t put the pieces of my life back together. Instead, I asked my Savior to make something beautiful from the broken pieces. Only then did I find His peace.
There’s a difference between suffering and brokenness. I may suffer because something happened to me, but brokenness is something I experience within When I am broken and go to God, He is able to make the pieces of my life into something beautiful. God can make beauty from ashes. He can use hurts, disappointments, and shame to create a story that will bring Him glory. God is able to restore a broken life and give it purpose.
Some time later, a decorator was in my home and the topic of my dad’s shattered cross came up in conversation. She said, “My son loves to restore broken things to their original state. Let me take the pieces of your cross and let him try to restore it.” I secretly thought, There is no way her son can restore my dad’s antique plaster cross, but I gave her the bag of broken pieces. When she returned it to me, I was amazed! As you can see in the photo, he was able to restore the cross!
Each time I sit under the cross in my study, I’m reminded of another Son who took the broken pieces of my life and made me beautiful in His time. If you look closely at my dad’s cross, you can see where the pieces have been put back together. If you look closely at me, you may see where Jesus has restored the broken pieces of my life to make something beautiful.
Are you willing to recognize the brokenness in your life and give it to Jesus? He is able to make your life into something beautiful, too.
Further Reading Isaiah 61:1-3