A Broken Vessel

Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.  I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.  I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. - Psalm 31:9-12

Poor David!  You really have to feel bad for him.  Here he was minding his own business, trying to serve the Lord, and suffering all the while.  Many scholars have determined that this psalm was probably written during the time of David's flight from Saul.  Considering the verses above, it makes sense.  After all, David speaks of how everyone feared to be his friend.  That would have been the case since Saul was out to kill him.  David would have been considered an enemy of the king and the kingdom.  He was "off-limits" to the people.  And so, poor David was left alone to ponder his stressful existence.

But out of the entire chapter, no other phrase catches my attention like the last part of verse 12:  I am like a broken vessel.  I guess it catches my eye because I know how David feels.  At the very least, once a week I feel like that broken vessel -- useless, worthless, forsaken, forgotten.  When poor health slows me down, I feel useless.  When I see my efforts amount to naught, I feel worthless.  When I find myself in difficult situations, I feel forsaken.  And when no one seems to know or care who I am or what I do, I feel forgotten.  Broken.  Discarded.  Junk.

Thankfully, David's story didn't end with his flight from Saul.  No, David went on to become a great king and a mighty warrior.  His life is a testament that God can still use broken vessels, for God used David over and over again.  Even when David considered himself useless, worthless, forsaken and forgotten, God saw a man after His own heart and said, "I can use you."  And I believe God says the same about me.  When I feel broken and discarded, I believe God is looking down and saying, "It's okay, Dana.  I can still use you."

So how do we go from feeling like a broken vessel to feeling like a vessel that can be used of God? David answers that question in verse 14 of the same chapter:   But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.  It all boils down to being willing to surrender our all to God and allowing Him to have His way in our lives.  The chorus to one of my favorite songs sums it up nicely:

Giver of life; supreme sacrifice
Mold me into Your likeness
Make me more like You
I want to be what You want me to be
A vessel, strong and true
Giver of life, I give my life to you.