Sunday, March 17, 2013

Broken Cups

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair; 

persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

My husband has a favorite mug he drinks his coffee from.  It was a gift to him from his daughter.  He's very sentimental when it comes to gifts he's given by loved ones.  This mug has a big ol' chip in it but he doesn't want to throw it out, and continues to drink his coffee from it each morning. 

I'm going to share a devotion below written by Joni Eareckson Tada, who is a paraplegic and has been an encouragement and help to millions through her ministry Joni and Friends.  She has great insight into brokenness both emotional and physical. 

Broken Cups
by Joni Eareckson Tada

Broken Cups "But this precious treasure - this light and power that now shine within us - is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own." 2 Corinthians 4:7, TLB

I was Spring-cleaning with a friend the other day. While reaching into the recesses of the cupboard, she accidentally dropped a cup. It didn't shatter, but the fall to the counter was enough to cause a crack. I wondered whether to save it, but in the end decided to trash it.

God, on the other hand, saves broken cups. In fact, broken vessels are often His most useful tools. The verse for today reads like His fix-it manual. It tells us God pours His treasure into fragile vessels that are prone to shatter. That way everyone will know God is doing the "living" in us.

A broken neck has taught me this. But so has a broken heart. At times, whether in my paralysis pain or emotional pain, I have gone to God and sighed, "I give up. I can't do anything right. I have no idea how to pull myself out of this mess." The world would say, "Yep, you're useless." The devil would say, "Told you so." But God says, "I've been waiting for you to come to Me in your brokenness. Here, let Me heal you. You need My help; for without Me, you can do nothing."

What's more, Psalm 51:17 tells us God will only use a life that is broken: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." 

Don't be ashamed of being shattered. God is looking for broken vessels like you through whom He can showcase His splendor. Remember, when it comes to God's grace, even broken cups can be filled to overflowing. Thank you, God, for not throwing away my broken life but treasuring it and redeeming it. Use my brokenness to help others.

I hope you have been encouraged by this devotion.  I receive Joni's devotions daily through email.   If you'd like to receive them as well, you can follow this link and sign up.  Joni has been a mentor to me over the years.  She has faced adversities few of us will ever know, yet her faith remains strong.
Sign Up for Joni's Daily Devotional


  1. Thank you for the link. Now I'll be joining Joni and Spurgeon for morning devotions. That was a wonderful selection and I thank you for sharing it with us. (I see that Joni is less sentimental than Bill. ☺)

  2. Signed up Abby and thank you for sharing!

  3. ISN'T THIS SOOOO TRUE!!!!!!!:) Makes me think of the the song, A Vessel Of Honor For God! THANKS ABBY!!!!!! :)

  4. Amen! What a wonderful devotional. A broken and contrite spirit He will not despise!

  5. Thank you for sharing Abby - Praise God that He does use broken cups :-)

  6. Thank you Abby for sharing such a wonderful link. It was really encouraging. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your wonderful comments:-)

  7. This is very encouraging. I know that I keep trying to do things on my own. HOW I NEED the Lord's help!


  8. Wow, I never really looked at it this way. So funny how things work. Having an especially intense day and read this at the perfect moment.

  9. Abbie, how are you? I just saw your name over at Stephanie's blog, The Enchanted Rose, and I just could not help but stop by. I don't know why I thought you had stopped blogging.
    I am happy to see your page up and running.
    Hope you are well. I've missed corresponding with you.
    Love and blessings,


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