A Cracked Bucket Still Has Value

Newt Condict   -  

NOTE: During the month of May you will be reading blog articles from various members of our mental health team. Our desire is to initiate conversations about mental health and raise awareness and thereby lessen the stigma attached to mental health. This week’s article is by Newt Condict. He is married to Beth and they have two active boys. They enjoy working on their homestead as you will read a little about in his article. 

For those of you that do not know, my family and I pride ourselves in having a little homestead on our small in-town property.  We hope to one day have a bigger property in the country to homestead even more.  Even on our small little homestead, we can grow our own vegetables, maintain a small berry arbor, and raise our own chickens, etc. Many of you have even received small “gifts” from the fruits of our labor.

Anyone who has worked or built their own homestead knows that oftentimes we try to use everything to the max and many times we hang on to certain things because it may still have value.  One of these things for me is a cracked bucket.  This bucket was here at our residence when we moved there several years ago.  There is nothing unique about it.  It is a simple 2 ½ gallon bucket with a handle, but at the bottom of the bucket there is a crack or split that runs across its diameter.  Most people would see this defect in the bucket and simply discard it.  I mean for goodness sake, how can a bucket like this even be useful?  It will not effectively hold water or other liquids, and after all isn’t that what a bucket is used for?  Well even though some may say this bucket is no longer useful, I see value in it.  Since there is a crack, I can be sure no one is going to try and use it to haul water or other liquids around.  I am confident, when I need the bucket, it will always be dry inside. Now a dry container can have many uses around our property.  This bucket is now used to carry wood shavings for chicken bedding, seed for our bird feeders, seed potatoes to plant in the garden, among many other uses.  Try using a normal bucket that had residual amounts of water inside to do these tasks.  Stuff would stick to the sides and it would not be nearly as handy.  Plus, because of the buckets “defect” I can be sure no one is going to disappear with it, because many might not see its true value.

The same can be said for people struggling with mental health issues in their life.  They may feel cracked or broken inside, but they still have value.  God loves us.  He knows us.  He has use for us here on earth and in our letting him use us, we allow others to see God through us, even through mental health struggles.  Does this mean we should be content to wallow in mental health struggles and give up?  No, God wants us to depend on him, to become more Christ like, and be used by him even with all of our splits and cracks.

Maybe some of you will be blessed here on earth and the cracks in your bucket will be mended.    Even healed here on earth there will most likely always be scars or signs of the crack that was once a part of us.  I encourage you to embrace the cracks in your life, do not give up, yet rather allow yourself to be used of God just as you are.  God sees our cracked bucket, yet he can still use us for the furtherance of his kingdom.  God can see our value, even others or ourselves cannot.

I encourage you to seek the help you need.  If you are struggling with mental health, talk with a friend, a pastor, or even a qualified mental health professional.  Do not be afraid of what others may think of your cracked bucket, yet try and get help and do not limit yourself from being used of God.  One day, we as Christians will be with him, we will be healed from our physical and or mental infirmities and be whole again.  During that time, I have no doubt we will still remember our struggles on earth, yet we will be comforted by him, and we will be glad that we were once a cracked bucket, that still had value and that we allowed God to make use of our value.

Take comfort in this passage of scripture Psalm 147:3-5 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;  his understanding is beyond measure.” Through this passage we can see, God can heal our brokenness. In addition to this, if he sees value in the naming of stars, he can see value in us, in our brokenness.