A tea party was scheduled. Attendance was required. The plates were set. Saucers with teacups set atop waited to be filled. The hostess busily set about making preparations for the guests. Picking the perfect table cloth. Laying out china, re-arranging and making sure all was perfect. Then greeting her guests, as they arrived, with graciousness.
All were sat around the table with utmost care. Each was given a beautiful teacup. All but one. Her teacup was a little different. The saucer not like the others. Mishap and chipping had changed the cup and saucer.
Be careful it’s not perfect was overheard by the guests.
But the sipper of tea that used this cup didn’t mind, she thought the cup had style, personality and character. She remembered all the times she had used it as a little girl. Special memories came with the well loved cup and saucer. It didn’t matter to her that the cup was missing a handle or that the saucer had a chip and a line where it had been glued back together. All that mattered to her was that this was her cup, her beloved little set.
Just like the tea set, I’m not perfect.
I have a chip. I have a ding. I fall short. I have flaws. I mess up.
How easily I fall into the trap of perfection. Telling myself I can’t be used unless I’m perfect. Beating myself up for my shortcomings. Pulling within myself because I feel I can’t measure up. Believing that I am useless. But God doesn’t see it that way. He uses me just as I am. God doesn’t throw me out just because I am bruised, broken and tarnished. No, He loves me with all my imperfections. He loves me deeply because I am His child. He made me to be who I am.
God can use me, even when I’m feeling imperfect, only if I let Him. He is the potter of this slightly cracked and dinged clay pot. I must not wallow in my imperfection. I must not get caught up in perfectionism. I must not demean myself because I feel I don’t compare. The Lord knows I want to excel at everything I lay my hand to. But, His plans are for me to excel at loving Him.
All my failings, all my sins, I can dredge these up in my mind. And I shudder when I see the ugliness, the inability. God sees the cracks, He alone can mend them and He does it all with loving hands. He heals my wounds. He soothes my hurts. He mends my soul. He forgives my imperfections. He loves me for who I am.
The cold truth is that I will never be perfect. But, God can do amazing things with broken vessels. If I take my eyes off of myself and lift them up to the Lord, He can use me to do amazing things for Him.
I may have a chip, a crack and a ding, but if I give my heart to the Lord and lift my eyes to Him, He will use me just as I am, an imperfect vessel, learning to impart His love to those around me.
I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven Psalm 123:1