“So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 2:21 HCSB).
The schedule of the day demanded I be in high multitasking form. I ran back and forth from the kitchen to the laundry, in pursuit of clean clothes and a meal. Something, which I can’t recall, distracted me, and I acknowledged the dreaded burning smell. I had forgotten the pot.
It was only water boiling in preparation. Creamed cauliflower floated away from my taste buds as I stared into the damaged pot on the stove. My beautiful shining stainless steel Cuisinart stock pot reeked of smoke and bore the imprint of the electric coil that shone bright red below it. Not only had I lost my side dish; I had lost my perfect pot.
The pot soaked with vinegar for three days in an attempt to remove the charred stains. The kitchen possessed the pickling aroma until the vinegar almost evaporated. The time came to scour. I had to face how much of the damage could be scrubbed away.
Over the next few days, I gave the pot a good scrub and finally had to concede to the damaged condition. It would never be suitable for simmering most food. The finish had been so damaged that sticking and burning would be inevitable even at low temperatures. My shining stainless pot would have to be demoted to a water boiler.
There are other stock pots in my cabinets. Yet, I fancied this one because it gleamed and looked new after twenty years of faithful service. I felt as if I had lost a dear friend. In its new position at the back of the cupboard, I shut the door on a long satisfying relationship.
I had some comfort in the knowledge I could use the little pot to boil veggies or sterilize lids during the canning season. We could share some quality stove-time together, with a new and changed encounter.
I am my pot.
Once, I was a shining example of what God created. My purposes known to Him, I set out on the stove of life and survived a few near misses of scorching. Eventually, I got caught a time or two and left the ring with marks that no amount of scrubbing could remove. Like my pot, I was damaged by the high fires of life. I had been left to burn one too many times and have the scars to prove it.
But God… He took me into His hands, and with the cleansing of the blood He shed on behalf of all of us, cleaned me up into a usable little pot. I soaked in the vinegar of trials and disappointments until I became weary of their smell. He blew away the odors and made me clean and usable, and left me with a fragrant aroma still pleasing to Him.
I may not shine like some of the other pots in His cupboard, but He still reaches for me to do what I am capable of doing for Him. I am grateful for that. He could have had the same fleeting thought as I did (to toss out the damaged pot) but He chose not to.
I am usable, no matter what damage has been done to me. I can chose to sulk in my corner of the dark cupboard and let the bitterness fester when I see the other shiny pots going in and out. Or, I can rejoice in the comfort I have to be in His cupboard at all; my dark corner is illuminated by my gratitude for His love.
Are you a damaged little pot? The scars of your fires do not have to eliminate you from the life God intended. You may have to submit to Plan B or Plan E, but you can have a cherished place in His Plan. After all, only one silver platter is required for the final presentation of the meal, but it takes many pots to bring it to fruition. I pray you will submit to His cleansing and be secure in a corner of His cupboard, a vessel of honor with scars and all, fit for the Master’s use.