Lent – Day 7 – Reflections Through Romans

“Redemption.” (Romans 3:24)

In my office sits a pot. A student made it as an extra credit assignment in a class for me last Spring (2015). She wanted to do something other than a typical research assignment, so we decided she could do a piece of art.

Broken PotShe went to Home Depot, bought the ceramic pot, broke it into pieces, painted each piece, wrote a New Testament passage on each piece that speaks about God restoring and redeeming us, then made a valiant effort to glue it all together again.

When she delivered her finished assignment to me, I asked her what spiritual lessons she had learned from the exercise. She did not hesitate. “Two things,” she said.

“First, I discovered that the pieces would never fit perfectly back as they once were. Then I realized that no matter what God did in my life, I would never be exactly as I once was.”

“Second, it took me far longer to reconstruct the pot than I imagined. And I realized that the work of God in my life might take a lot longer than I expect. I should be patient.”

The pot sits on a bookcase next to my office door. People ask about it all the time, and I happily tell the story.

That humble pot thought that it might one day sit in a backyard and hold a plant. But its brokenness and reconstruction, though far less than perfect, has given it enormously greater value and purpose than ever. It’ll never hold things like it once might have. But it now gives glory to God in ways that it never imagined.

That’s the essence of redemption. Technically, redemption refers to the process of being “bought back.” But we might equally think of redemption as “restored or renewed purpose.”

Today, as we continue the journey through Lent (and Romans) together, consider both the pot and your own life. While we may grieve that we cannot be restored entirely to the purity and innocence of our past, let’s know also that the re-purposed pot — broken but not destroyed — may have a far greater testimony and bring far greater glory to Christ.

Let’s learn to be content, grateful, and alert to telling the story.

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15 Responses to Lent – Day 7 – Reflections Through Romans

  1. Mitch Harrison says:

    Thank you for this David.

    Mitch Harrison, Executive Pastor

    Canyon Ridge Christian Church
    canyonridge.org | 702.658.2722 x217
    c. 702.236.9111 | t. @1mitchharrison

  2. Murphy says:

    Wow, this really ‘spoke’ to me today! I’ve struggled off and on in the area of “worth” in the past several years. In 2008, I was in a serious motocycle accident and as a result, have some physical limitations. I’ve recovered amazingly by God’s grace and was/am VERY appreciative, yet at times feel useless, not a valuable member of society. Since 2008, I’ve had other physical problems, mainly due to aging, and currently am experiencing pain in my ‘good’ arm, so I’m fairly restricted in what I can do right now. I’ve battled with these feelings of not ‘contributing,’ and after reading your blog, I could really relate to that pot! All of a sudden, the light came on as God showed me how valuable I am to HIM, and that’s what truly matters. He then showed me ways He’s used me during this course of time in ways had I been ‘whole’ physically, I wouldn’t have experienced the opportunities to help others. Anyway, I want to thank you for your article and let you know that YOU’RE making a difference in this person’s life. 🙂

    • David Timms says:

      Wow! What a moving story. Thanks for sharing your own journey. I’ve got to say that the pot has become one of the most valuable items in my office. May you continue to know the grace and Presence of Christ.

  3. Elaine Steil says:

    This blog spoke to me as well. What a great reminder of our worth in the eyes of our beholder. I too experienced the sense of loss. I believe it is harder to regain a sense of purpose when events happen in our mature years. Somehow we are more resilient when we are younger. It’s a terrible feeling to think you are no longer of value because of physical, emotional or financial loss and the changes brought about due to those situations. We are all broken and God does restore, sometimes not in the way we imagined He would. Thank you and blessings to you David.

  4. Jill Dillon says:

    Thank you for this great story. What a amazing young girl to think up this pot. It touched me to tears but I do cry easy as I get older? I believe the Lord wants me to rest in Him which I do most days as I am an artist and work for my maker. I believe He has restored me over and over in my life. God bless you David for what you are doing.

  5. Barry Thygesen says:

    Thank you David for this series but especially this thought encourager. I have retired from fulltime ministry but still see His hand refining some of my rough spots, healing some of my woundings and reshaping me with a softer and more sensitive heart. I’m not what I used to be but I’m still not what the finished product will be somewhere after seventy. Thank you for your spiritual insights

  6. Elaine Wilson says:

    Beautiful image, story and encouragement!! Simple yet such profound truths. Will be sharing this story with many…..and will look forward to seeing ‘that pot’ in May!! Thanks Dave.

  7. Kim Youngquist says:

    What an insightful student and praises to our Lord for leading her to choose that particular project.

    >

  8. Barry Thygesen says:

    Hi again David, do you post pictures of the pot? Sounds amazing and very moving. BT

    • David Timms says:

      Barry, only the picture I embedded in the blog post. The pot is relatively unremarkable to look at which, of course, is precisely the point. It’s the message, not the vessel, that has captured my heart. 🙂

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