Treasure in Earthen Vessels

“Partnering with Jesus in His mission exposes our deficits and gives us an opportunity to grow. Jesus matures those on mission. Nothing quite exposes our hearts like dealing with failure, temptation, fear and the pain of rejection. 

Stepping out in the mission of Christ gives us opportunities to experience all those things, and they should push us further into Jesus rather than deterring us from continuing to engage in His mission. 

Author and theologian Henri Nouwen popularized the phrase “wounded healer.” In his book by that same title, he describes the brokenness of our world and the brokenness of the people who are called to bring healing to that world. 

Just because we are wounded does not mean we don’t have something to offer. It is in our weakness that Jesus is made strong. Rather than allowing our woundedness to keep us from engaging in mission, our woundedness can be what presses us further into Jesus so that we can be more effective in ministering to others. 

The Bible is full of examples of broken people whom God used tremendously. Among the heroes of the Bible are adulterers, murderers and thieves. We see Gideon, who battled insecurity and self-doubt. Jacob was so fearful that he manipulated his way through life to avoid pain and confrontation. Both Paul and Timothy struggled with physical illnesses that affected them. Jeremiah and Elijah battled severe depression. 

I am not advocating brokenness, and I am certainly not excusing sin. But the fact remains that none of us are fully well, healed and without sin in this lifetime. All of us have things we struggle with. It is vitally important that we cooperate with the sanctifying work of the Spirit to heal us in those areas. 

Nonetheless, if we wait till we have everything together to join Jesus on His mission, we will always find a reason to disqualify ourselves.”

Chapter 9 “Treasure in Earthen Vessels” from my book “Putting Jesus on Display with Love and Power”!

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