A “crackpot”, as described by Merriam-Webster, is “one given to eccentric or lunatic notions”. Many of us have used this term when referring to others with foolish, harebrained ideas. I must confess…I have had my own share of crazy ideas, but that’s not the only problem. Who am I, really? I am an ordinary, unimportant person in the grand scheme of things. How in the world can God use someone like me, especially through suffering?
It doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s like placing the world’s most expensive diamond in a brown lunch sack! Certainly something this valuable should be carried by a container worthy of its contents! Then, I recalled how God chose to send His own son to earth. Our precious Savior could have been sent as a glorious King. Instead, God chose a most unlikely subject - a baby, a carpenter’s son. God did this so that His glory would be MORE glorious than the package that contained it! He did it to show His power! First Corinthians chapter one speaks of how God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak things of the world to shame the strong so that no one may boast before Him.
Verses eight and nine of 2 Corinthians four go on to tell us how we are hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. Yes, we must endure pain and suffering, but here’s the good news. As we read on we also receive a promise. We are NOT crushed! We are NOT in despair! We are NOT abandoned! We are NOT destroyed! Even in these hard times, there is an opportunity to share our treasure. Our pot may need to get cracked, it may even need to be broken, but God will never allow us to completely shatter!
In Judges chapter seven, we read about Gideon, the least of his family from the least tribe of Israel, yet God called him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. God decreased Gideon’s army to a mere 300 men who were to fight against an army numbering in the thousands…not the best of odds! God told Gideon to take earthen jars, put torches in them, and circle the enemy camp. At the sound of the trumpets, the pots were to be broken so the light would break forth. The Midianite army became confused. Seeing the lights surrounding them, the soldiers assumed they were being overtaken. In their panic, they began to kill one another. Gideon’s army was victorious, but it was not until the jars of clay were broken that the light burst into the darkness and God’s purpose was served!
And so it is with you and me! We are weak and fragile people, simply cracked pots! But we were created to carry the most precious treasure within us…the gospel of Christ. Just as He did in the bible, God continues today to work the extraordinary through the ordinary in order to “show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”. (vs. 7b) When we are cracked and broken by life’s trials, God’s light can shine brightly through us! God wants to demonstrate in us a different attitude towards life’s difficulties, an obvious love, joy and peace that makes others take notice, and even confuses them. It is not about us, but instead about God’s work IN us.
In this, I have experienced a new sense of freedom, a liberation. Even in my frailty, God can demonstrate His glory in me, as chipped and flawed as I am, to bring new life to others. When I am broken, His purpose is revealed. I confess, I am simply a crackpot in the hands of an all-powerful God!