Have you ever lost sleep thinking about what God was teaching you? When you’re so full of conviction over a sin or situation that you literally cannot sleep. That happened to me this very week. As we traveled into Salt Lake City and the team starting settling in, I was face to face with an ugly truth. I wanted to be in control of what happened in my life and not God. When this truth and wrong belief was revealed, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not just because of the one situation, but because I realized that throughout this past summer I was struggling with the same thing, but I was blinded. I realized the pain I had caused and the power that I was trying to steal from my God. I was literally wrestling with the Lord.
That night, as I was going to bed, I was full of such sorrow and tears that I could not sleep. I was struggling with choosing to focus on things that I couldn’t change and actually being grateful and joyful that God was kind enough to show me my sin. By God’s grace, the gratefulness and joy in the Lord won. I was in awe that God loved me enough to let me fail, so that I could see that I was never in control; that I could never actually steal power from God. He held on to my heart as I pulled and acted as a fool. In 1 Corinthians 1:15 it says, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” I’m a fool to think that I can manipulate such an awesome God! And even more amazingly, He even uses the fool to do His work.
In Philippians 1:6 it says, “Being confident of the very thing, that he that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” What a precious promise! God is still working on this unfinished product. We are broken vessels used to glorify His name. I often give the illustration that when you put a candle into a vase that is glued together with broken pieces, it is much more beautiful than the one that has no broken parts. The light is all you see through the broken vase.
When I think of broken vessels used for God’s glory, I think of Paul. He was greatly used of God, but was a sinner just like you and me. He struggled with God, but obeyed. He let God use him and have power over his life. I think of the Church at Colossae that he was burdened for. He was currently in jail when he wrote to them. He had no power or control over the people or God. He was forced to be in a place where all he could do was trust that the Lord was working. The last verse of Colossians 1 says this, “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” As he toiled over the burden that he had for the people of Colossae, he claimed God’s promise of completing His work. God is powerfully in control!