From a dear friend, Kim Rempel, I received an unusual gift. It was a special cup and saucer. Inside the cup was a delicate mesh bag filled with beautiful pieces of broken shells. Along with it was the following article which she wrote. She is a very gifted and creative writer. (Each year she writes and directs the Christmas drama, which Harvest Deaf Ministries performs for the public. They are amazing.) This is a timely article as we begin 2019. It was a blessing and encouragement to me, and I hope it will be the same for you. – CC
By Kim Rempel
The first time my husband and I visited our time-share located in the northern tip of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, I found an island that we could adventure. After taking a boat to the island, I was amazed at the beauty of the ocean, the sand dunes, the wild ponies, and even the shells that came to shore.
Biggest and Best
“As we walked the shore, I, like everyone, looked for the biggest and best shells. The biggest and best shells are easy to see because they are the biggest… and the best. But while walking through the shallow water that once in a while produced a strong enough wave to push me a little in shore, I noticed something. I saw these smooth pieces of shell that almost looked like a beautiful polished stone. They were actually parts of those shells that we consider the biggest and best. But, at some point the shell broke as a result of the strong waves. I am sure that when it first broke, its pieces were sharp and rough. However, as time passed and the strong waves brought those pieces back and forth from ocean to shore so many times, the salt water and sand had a polishing effect that actually left them in a beautiful changed state.
“As I walked, I was drawn to those beautiful, smooth, and often times colorful pieces that lay all up and down the shore. They reminded me of life. We all go through things; things that break us at times and leave us in rough, sad situations. Praise God that He loves ‘broken pieces!’ He uses the rough things in life to help polish us into trophies of grace. Just like these pieces of shell, we can become beautiful if we yield to Him and let Him work us through what life has to bring. ‘I have seen the travail (suffering), which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made everything beautiful in his time…’(Ecclesiastes 3:10,11).
Useful Broken Pieces
“I heard once that in Bible times, pottery was a very important household item. Even when broken, the pieces were gathered and used. One of the ways these pieces were used was to help others. Each morning, as a woman began her busy day, she would look out the window of her home to see if the fire had been started in the home of her neighbor. If it had not, she would use a piece of the broken pottery to take a live coal from her fire to her neighbor’s, making it easier for her to start her fire. The broken piece became useful.
For God’s Glory
“God loves and uses broken pieces. We all will go through things, but let’s allow Him to make us a thing of beauty by allowing the hard sands of time to polish us for His Glory. ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold’– Job 23:10.”
Looking back on 2018, we all had times of brokenness. For some, they were of a deep grievous nature. Some were caused by willful rebellion, or injury others may have inflicted on us. Maybe thoughts of quitting or feelings of unworthiness came to mind. Perhaps questions came whether or not God would continue to use us. But just like the broken pieces of shells, the rough times can form us into something beautiful to be used of God. God is a God of new beginnings. As we yield, He will wield (make us useful). He will not throw us away. I heard this song years ago, and the lyrics are a reminder that He uses broken pieces.
“I’m Glad He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away”
“Empty and broken, I came back to Him A vessel unworthy, so scarred from sin. But He did not despair… He started over again and I bless the day, He didn’t throw the clay away.“He is the Potter… I am the clay And molded in His image, He wants me to stay. Oh, but when I stumble… When I fall…When my vessel breaks, He just picks up those pieces, He does not throw the clay away…
“Over and over, He molds me and makes me, Into His likeness, He fashions the clay. A vessel of honor, I am today, All because Jesus didn’t throw the clay away.”
This is written because I care… Carlene