The Story of Two Pots
A water bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole that he carried across his neck. One pot was cracked; the other delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house. The cracked pot arrived only half full.
This went on daily for two years. The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection and sad it could accomplish only half of what it was made to do.
It spoke to the water bearer one day. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer.
“I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack causes water to leak out. Because of my flaws, you have extra work,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old pot. He said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
As they went up the hill, the cracked pot saw the sun warming beautiful wildflowers on the side of the path. This cheered it some, but it still felt bad.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I took advantage of your flaw. I planted flowers on your side, and every day, you’ve watered them. For two years I have picked beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being as you are, he would not have this beauty.”
Each of us has unique flaws. We are all cracked pots, but it is cracks and flaws that make our lives together so interesting and rewarding. We have to take people for what they are and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you. —From Glenn Hitchcock
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
Og Mandino wrote that all successful people have a clear purpose in life. They have a reason to get out of bed in the morning and a driving purpose that keeps them on track throughout the day (Philippians 1:18–26).
Five sponges lay on your counter. Each family member has been cleaning a different area of your home. All the sponges look the same. You are curious as to what was cleaned, but you cannot tell by looking. What do you do?
As you squeeze the first sponge, cola comes out. You decide someone cleaned the kitchen. Squeezing the second, you find tub and tile cleaner. That one was used in the bathroom. The third gives motor oil. Someone cleaned the garage.
From the fourth, baby powder puffs out. The baby’s nursery was cleaned. The last sponge has floor wax. That was the one you used on the hall floor.
As you lay it down, you think, “They all look the same until squeezed.”
As life squeezes us, different things come out: anger, revenge, tears, remorse, greed, untruth, lust, or the love of Christ. Only what is put in can come out. Stay in the Word daily and be in continuous prayer, so that when life puts the squeeze on you, Jesus will shine forth. —Unknown
But Can’t See God?
The Hubble Space Telescope is powerful enough to spot the light of a firefly at a distance of 7,000 miles. Scientists have invented wonderful things, but many have forgotten God (Roman 1:21).
The Lord Is at Hand
Paul made reference to the Lord being at hand (Philippians 4:5). There is certainly a peace and great comfort in knowing that such is a reality. Think of the assurance of having help nearby. This is promise from Him who is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). No wonder Peter described the promises of God as precious (2 Peter 1:4). Notice with me some of these monumental occasions when the Lord is at hand and we are so very thankful for it.
When We Turn from Sin. The Bible speaks of the prodigal son coming to himself, repenting of sin, and coming home to his father. The Lord is the Father; He is ever at hand (Luke 15:17). There is rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents (Luke 15:7, 10). The Lord delights in mercy and is ever ready to pardon (Micah 7:18; Isaiah 55:6–7). If we confess our faults, He is faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9).
When We Face Temptation. We will be tempted to sin (Hebrews 4:15). Even Jesus faced temptations (Matthew 4). The devil is sure to seek to devour us through his wiles and fiery darts (Ephesians 6:10–11; 1 Peter 5:8). When we are tempted, the Lord promises to make a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank God He is not far from us (Acts 17:27).
When We Go to Him in Prayer. His ears are ever open to hear our prayers (1 Peter 3:12). God heard Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:5) and Daniel (Daniel 6), and He will hear your prayers. He is a Father who cares (Matthew 7:7–11). At any hour of any day, a faithful child of God can know that God is listening and will answer (1 John 5:14–16; 3:22).
When We Are Sick, Lonely, or in Tears. The Lord was at hand when Epaphroditus was sick (Philippians 2) and when Paul was lonely (2 Timothy 4:16–17). God saw Hezekiah’s tears (Isaiah 38) and Hagar’s sorrows (Genesis 16). He is at hand when you have days of sickness, loneliness, and sorrow. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5–6).
When We Face Death. David referred to the Lord’s being with him when he walked through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). This truth gave early Christians the courage needed to face death because the Lord was at hand. They were not to fear what man could do (Matthew 10:28). The Lord stood up on the occasion of Stephen’s death.
When We Obey or Disobey. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place” (Proverbs 15:3). All things are naked and open before Him (Hebrews 4:13). He truly knows our works (Revelation 2–3). He knows our thoughts (1 Corinthians 4:5). The Lord takes account of our deeds (Romans 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Lord is ever at hand to give credit and reward for the good, but His justice will not ig-nore the evil.
Yes, the good Lord is at hand. Draw nigh to Him, and He will draw nigh to you. One day, we can even be with Him eternally. (John 17:24, 14:1–3). —Vance Hutton