The author of the Cracked Pot story is unknown; yet the wisdom that it holds is displayed in our lives daily through God’s working in and through us!

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.’I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’

The old woman smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?’ ‘That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.’ For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’

2Corinthians 4:7f (MSG paraphrase) “If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious message around in the adorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us….We’re not much to look at…but the life of Jesus is being revealed through us.”

Just so you know the context. Paul is writing about all the trials he faced. And it was through those trials and sometimes even the failures that the life of Christ shone through. I think that about us as Christians. We are not much to look at in the world’s standards. And sometimes it doesn’t look like we are all that righteous because if we did we might mistake shining the light on us instead of Christ. So we muddle along best as we can and discover that the precious life giving spirit is leaking through us into the lives of others.

I have a friend like that. She doesn’t always think much of herself and wonders at times about her righteousness but she always leaks out some of that wonderful Christ life into my life by her honest and her sincere desire for God.

So never discount that God is up to something in your life. Always, every moment, even while you are sleeping God is carrying your cracked pot and flowers are blooming somewhere.


cracked pot


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