What to do when a fragile but cherished vessel is broken? The world tries super glue, the devil suggests a trashcan, but God alone has a way of fixing things so that something greater comes forth. God’s healing power is mirrored in the beautiful art form called “kintsugi” where broken vessels are repaired with gold in a way that goes beyond repairing – a more beautiful vessel is formed.
When a bone is broken it comes out stronger in the place where the original break was formed. In the midst of Jeremiah’s frustration with his nation, God reminded the Prophet that He alone is the master potter and has power to create and recreate when a vessel is marred. (Jer 18)
The word “kintusigi” literally means “golden joinery,” and is a perfect picture of what the Spirit of God does when joined to our life in the very area that life seeks to break us. In this ancient Japanese art of repair the artist does not try to hide the history, rather the history is highlighted with veins of gold or perhaps silver, thus adding a new dimension to the vessels value and beauty.
The celebrated 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said an impromptu prayer someone captured in print. “Lord you have done more with us than You did with Thomas, for he was told to place his finger into the open wounds in your hands and side, but you O Lord God have done something greater with us for you placed your finger into our open wounds and healed them.” Indeed, God puts His finger into the wounds in our life and seals them with gold.
This explains a mystery regarding suffering.
In the final hours of Jesus life He warned Peter that the enemy sought to sift the young Apostle and rob him of his calling. Why did Jesus pray for Peter to come thru the ordeal successfully? Why not rather pray that Peter be able to sidestep the sifting in the first place?
- It is because in some way, the warfare intended to be used by the enemy to break us actually make us stronger and of greater value! When we bring the brokenness to Jesus we are made stronger.
- So it is in the stories of our heroes found in life and in fiction. All heroes go on a heroic journey where they engage a fierce struggle against a worthy opponent, only to become transformed as a result of their conflict.
- Joseph was made stronger by the ordeal of betrayal, David was fashioned into a commander in the cave of Adulum. Even scriptwriters understand the formula. The frail older Jedi Obi Wan engaged in a light saber duel with Darth Vader in order to buy time for the next generation to escape…”strike me down” he warned Vader, “and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” When a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it multiplies.
I remember a story about a young believer with a physical feature he hated – a crooked nose. It made him self-conscious. The Lord was talking to him about self-acceptance. Once he worked through the issue he was in an automobile accident. He came out unharmed but the insurance covered the plastic surgery and he ended up with the nose he always wanted. God is a good God and by no means the architect of accidents, but in this case the man got fixed on the inside and outside.
- Given a choice between sparing you temporary discomfort or letting you have a moments light affliction in exchange for an eternal increase in reward, which would you want Him to choose for you? Deliver you “from” the process or deliver you “through” the process?
- Many times you are delivered from the fire, but when you walk “through” the fire God declares “I will be with you!” You will come out a winner on the other side and like Peter, Joseph and David the new vessel will be able to contain and reveal a whole new level of glory. God is the ultimate “kintsugi” artist.
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