Year after year, I hover disappointedly over the stovetop, grasping the silver handle and peering into my non-stick saucepan with bewilderment. What is my problem with Easter eggs? Why do they faithfully crack when I boil them? And why am I always shy of vinegar?
A few days ago, I asked my 15 year old daughter if she wants to color eggs again this year. Just for the fun. I was sort of hoping she'd say no, but with a beautiful smile, she said yes. For old times sake. I think I may have cringed a tiny bit in secret.
Because you wouldn't believe how often I resort to my Betty Crocker cookbook, on simply how to boil the perfect egg. And you wouldn't believe how many eggs I juggle, trying to manage a crate full of unbroken boiled eggs. All for an unbroken Easter egg hunt.
I suppose the water is too hot, and the cracks appear. I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing wrong.
Sometimes I resort to plastic eggs. Mix in a little plastic with the real.
I used to be ashamed of the fractures in my life. I wanted to hide them, hide them from others. I wanted to appear perfect. Add a little plastic to the real, and maybe no one would notice.
But here's the beautiful deal ...
God uses the real.
God refines us intentionally. What good are we if we remain the same? Those fractures are living proof of change and a great source of ministry. They make us unique like a fingerprint or snowflake.
The plastic is artificial. But the real is nourishment.
Do I wish I could erase some of those life's fractures? Oh, you bet I do. But choices are choices; and consequences are consequences; and circumstances are circumstances. But those are the very things God can take and make good. Because He promised He would.
The nail scarred hands and feet prove this—
The broken uses the broken.
The fractured uses the fractured.
If we simply give up, come out of hiding, to be found. Remove the plastic. To be real. To be used.