Daily Devotionals

The Broken Bowl

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Scripture: “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” – Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

I have a bowl that was my grandmother’s. She was famous for her sweet sourdough muffins. She fed that sourdough faithfully and always brought just-from-the-oven muffins to our family gatherings. When she moved into assisted living, she gave me her sourdough bowl. Years later, I decided to ship the bowl along with some other items to our home in Alaska. Sadly, though thoroughly bubble-wrapped and padded, many of our things in the shipment were broken, including my bowl.

When I filed the claim, it was easy to put an amount on the shattered china plate and the cracked crystal vase. But what about the sentimental value of my grandmother’s bowl? This bowl contained so much love and tradition and memories… only a bowl, and yet priceless to me. So I bought a pottery repair kit and worked the large jagged piece back into place.

There are broken pieces of my life that have left rough, uneven scars. But God sees beauty in my broken pieces.

Because the Lord considers me priceless, He repairs the cracks and blemishes made by my sin. He forgives me for my part in the brokenness of my life. He repairs what I might call ruined; he renames what I might call useless. He refers to me as “precious.” In his eyes, I am worth fixing, worth making whole again.

Without our broken pieces, we might never run to him for help. We might never acknowledge our dependence upon him. We might forget to whom we belong.

I am that broken bowl, cracks and all. It’s his love that puts me back together. He calls the restored vessels of you and of me… beautiful.

Prayer: Lord, you say we are precious and honored in your sight (Isa 43:4). Thank you for loving us, Lord, and calling us beautiful in your sight. Amen.

Submitted by Natalie Hall, Missionary