Saturday, July 24, 2010

Broken Pottery

I was asked to write a sort of testimony as to what's been happening in my life for a camp I worked at about a month ago. I thought perhaps it might encourage someone here, I'm not sure if this is something that fits on the forums, but I thought I'd post it here anyway:

I’m a broken piece of pottery.

Today God showed me something fantastic. Judges 7:16, 20 says,“(16)And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. (20) Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, ‘A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!’

What brings victory? Light in a broken jar.

I like 2 Corinthians 4. I like it a lot. Especially 2 Corinthians 4:7. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” Clay jars are common, fragile, of little value in themselves, and will break sooner or later – more likely sooner than later. Clay jars can’t claim glory for themselves.

I like that God made me not only a jar of clay, but He made me extra broken. I can’t go outside by myself. I can’t even breathe on my own. In fact, I’m never allowed to be myself anymore. Even now, my door is open and I have a baby monitor sitting by me. I get to wear a medical bracelet and carry a backpack containing emergancy epinephrin with me at all times. I’m stuck inside for the next who knows how long because that’s how allergic I am to outside. Getting from my house to the car is a challenge. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I ceased to take all my medicine. Ha. Even when I’m on all the steroid shots, pills, inhalers, decongenstants, and antihistamines… I still have severe asthma and allergenic rhitinis. Henceforth, I have type one brittle asthma. That’s doctor for “nothing’s working and we don’t know why”. I used to be afraid. I used to have a bad attitude. God blessed me by allowing me to work at a camp for a month. I had to avoid half the camp and I regularly had asthma attacks, but God let me go for a month. I had the nerve to have a poor attitude sometimes because I couldn’t do a lot of stuff. Now, my asthma is much worse. I’m not allowed to be outside. At all. I literally get to rely on God for my oxygen. And you know what’s crazy? I’m not even afraid anymore.

My doctor asked, on a scale of 1-10, how afraid was I. I gave him a 0. It was awesome. I got to explain why, too. It seemed simple to me. I mean, why on earth would I be afraid now? God already gives me every breath! God gives you every breath too! Jesus gives me everything I need. If I’m supposed to stay here, He’ll give me oxygen. I’m positive of it. If Jesus wants me to be able to work at camp and go outside, He’ll get me better. And if He doesn’t, even though I think that would be super hard for me, it’d really be okay. Because that means Jesus get’s to be super evident in me because like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” So really, God’s awesome. Because only 5% of asthmatics have brittle asthma and God picked me to be one of them. Sweet.

The doctor said, “But what if you die? Doesn’t that scare you?” I answered him, “Well… dying by status asthmaticus sounds scary. But I’m not afraid of death. Because that means Jesus decided to tak me home. And if He decides to take me to heaven, then I’ll feel bad for all of you, because I’ll get to go home and meet Jesus first.”

So while it’s a struggle to die to myself - to my desires to work with kids outside at a camp all day, to run cross country, to sit by a campfire, to go for a walk… I get to show Christ mightily. Wow.

We’re all jars of clay. Clay jars can’t claim glory for themselves. Broken clay jars can’t even hold anything. But just as Gideon’s men broke the clay jars to reveal light, God has broken me to reveal Himself. And in some way, God has broken all of you. Suddenly, James 1 makes sense. Have joy in trials. Because they’re a blessing. God’s grace is sufficient for you.

So yes, I’m a broken piece of pottery. So are you. But it’s not so bad when God is revealed in our shattered remains.

Article written by: Courtney


  1. Wow, that's awesome. God's awesome. It's a challenge for me to live like every breath is given by God, yet it's no less true for me than it is for you. If God has my entire life in His hand, how should I live as a response? Thanks for this article, it really encouraged me in a time where I'm struggling to fill my time with things of God.


    Matthew 5:3

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

  2. I second Camden's comments! People who have a normal life and a healthy body often miss out on the truth that Courtney articulated so well, but it is no less true for us than her!


  3. Thanks for posting that here! I was really encouraged by it.