Every time I sing or hear the William Gaither chorus, “Something Beautiful,” I am reminded of Ann Kiemel, an iconic figure in the Jesus Movement who in the 1970s and early ’80s, moved millions with her simple faith and ways of sharing Jesus with others. Her books I’m Out to Change My World, I’m Running to Win, and I Gave God Time sold more than 20 million copies. She inspired crowds at conventions, retreats, and churches, but she ministered to many–often total strangers–one-on-one. I recall listening to and being greatly encouraged by tapes of some of her devotional talks.
Not very large in stature, little Ann Kiemel could walk up to someone who seemed to need encouragement and say, “I’ve got this little song I’d like to sing for you,” and proceed to sing: “Something beautiful, something good–All my confusion He understood; All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful of my life.”
Ann married Will Anderson and since they were unable to have children, they adopted four sons. She dropped out of her speaking tour to rear her family. Will died in 2000 and Ann lost her battle with cancer and went to be with her beloved Savior on March 4, 2014.
And, speaking of “broken pieces,” In 1952, in an effort to prevent clumsy or careless people from breaking items in a shop, a Miami Beach store owner posted a sign that read: “You break it, you buy it!” This catchy phrase served as a warning to shoppers and soon the sign could be seen across the country.
But there is something far more tragic than carelessly broken items in a craft shop or boutique, and that is the brokenness experienced by countless millions of people who have suffered broken relationships, destroyed dreams, failed health, financial ruin, the death of a loved one, etc. Their lives are battered, marred and broken.
But, there is “Good News!” In the Book of Jeremiah, we read in chapter 18 of how God told Jeremiah to “go down to the potter’s house…” (v. 1). There Jeremiah saw the potter making something on the wheel, but the vessel was “spoiled in the hands of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make” (vv. 3,4). God reminded Jeremiah that the nation of Israel was in God’s hands, just as the clay was in the hands of the potter. The emphasis was on the sovereignty of God over nations, Israel in particular.
Similarly, God can shape us even when we’re marred or broken. He, the masterful Potter, can, and is willing, to create new and precious pottery from our shattered pieces. In His hands, the broken pieces of our lives can be reshaped into beautiful vessels that can be used by Him (Jer. 18:4). If your life is broken and you can’t put the pieces together, just come to the loving, all-knowing, all-powerful Divine Potter and let Him put your life together.
“Something beautiful, something good–All my confusion He understood; All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful (out) of my life.” He will do that for you. All you need to do is ask.
Forever His Vessel of Clay,