“I am like a broken vessel.” (Psalm 31:12b)
Two months ago, while I was driving, a small piece of rock flew straight toward my truck and made a small dent in my windshield. “I gotta replace my windshield,” I thought. But I was busy, so I put it off. Very soon, a crack formed rapidly on my windshield. Every time I drove the truck, the sight of the crack on the windshield really bothered me. I knew I had to get it fixed. But I reasoned, “I’m so busy, and besides the crack is still so small.” So I put it off. A couple weeks later, the crack seemed to turn from growing diagonally to horizontally. The crack looks more orderly and less bothersome. Besides, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing it. A couple weeks after that, the crack still grew, but it grew a lot slower. It got to a point that on some days, I no longer notice a crack on my windshield!
This is an apt picture of how we have forgotten that we need God. For those who have been Christians for more than 10 years, when we think back on the time when we first believed, we always have a fond memory of that happening. In that moment of need, we knelt before God as a helpless sinner asking for His grace. But why do we not feel the same level of need or even a greater level of need for God today? It doesn’t make any sense. We certainly know God better today, and we’re certainly more sensitive to our human depravity, and yet we don’t feel the same dependence on God today. Could it be that we’ve been staring at the crack in our lives for too long that we miss seeing it? We know the glass is broken, but we’ve grown accustomed to it for so long we don’t see our growing need for God.
Two years ago I had an encounter with God. While in India, midway between civilization and the destination of my short term mission trip, I got trapped in a town because of problems with my travel papers. For four days I only slept an hour per day, spending the rest of the day praying and reading the Bible and asking God to let me go to my destination. I went from curiosity to anxiety to extreme loneliness to intense depression to furious anger toward God. But during those times that I wrestled with God, God clearly reminded me that I’m a broken vessel, and when I finally was able to admit defeat and admit my total dependence on Him, He granted me the necessary travel documents to continue my short term mission trip.
What happened was that I had to struggle to see my complete helplessness to realize God’s complete trustworthiness, and to purely seek God’s face for His power to work out of my impossible jams. I ask the Lord to show me what areas in my life I’m holding on so tight that I shut Him out from intervening, or areas in my life that I thought I was strong at but in fact I was faking it and deceiving myself. If I’m not broken enough, I need God to break me and break through to me.