“I had a bag of bottles each one a different hue. I’d been carrying them for so long, I didn’t know what to do. Each one was old and heavy filled with memories from the past, of times of disappointment or of so called love that didn’t last. Some were filled with hopes now dashed that just weren’t meant to be, but I knew if I gave them to Jesus a lot better it would be. So awkwardly I handed the whole bag over to Him, wondering what He’d do with my strange bag of suffering. And then to my amazement – one sweep of His dear hand, He’d made a beautiful light stand that shone across the land. For as I dared to look up to see what He had done, I saw each bottle shining in the light of Him, God’s Son. The bottles once murky, dusty and alone now moulded all together did shine like bright gem stones! For when you give your hurting, your pain and loss to Him, He’ll shine His love right through it and heal you from within. Then all the world will see it, the beauty He has made from taking those old bottles and bringing healing for which you prayed.”
I used to think of my life as a patchwork. I’ve lived in so many places, done so many things from – wrangling wild goats for our millionaire Taiwanese boss, living in an orphanage my parents were running solely on a remote island in Bangladesh, working with first nation peoples in outback Western Australia, just to name a few and that was before I started uni at the age of 21! But the problem with a patchwork – as lovely as it is, is that it’s not made to shine light through, it’s made to keep you warm. I realised that God has made us to shine His great light, through all of it – the disappointments, the mistakes, the let downs, the back tracks to get on the right path again, it all happens before His eyes and not one thing we do is done in secret from Him, but the beauty of it all is, just like coloured glass when we let Him come live in our hearts and take up residence there, His beautiful light and presence can radiate out from us and transform us to shine a beautiful mixture of colours unique to us, to our journey, to our suffering, to our relationship with Him. So I’ve decided to think of my life more like a stained glass window – made up of many little pieces of different colours and qualities, but when put together with the light of the sun shining through create a beautiful masterpiece that points to it’s creator. How about you are you willing to give your ‘bag of bottles’ to Him? – Poem and story by Bronwyn Olson May 2022
"Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16 ASV
If this poem and story encouraged you or you have something to share about your experience, I would love to hear from you. Contact me here!