We are jars of clay.
I have to admit, I always got Paul’s metaphor wrong. I, as I tend to do, made it all about me. I pictured myself as a crystal clear glass jar with a lump of grey sculpting clay inside. My jar was no fragile vessel. This was thick, sturdy, sparkling glass, able to withstand high temperatures or clumsy hands. And that lump of clay was my life, ready and waiting for God to sculpt me, or more likely, ready and waiting for me to sculpt me into what I thought my life should look like.
As it would be, I’m not made of sturdy, sparkling glass. My vessel is frail. Under the pressure of this world, I crack. And that sculpting I thought I could do with my own life? It broke me. Completely. Exactly how He planned it.
The jar, it turns out, isn’t what we should be occupied with. Benjamin Jowett writes, “There is something wrong when the vessel robs the treasure of its glory…when the picture takes second place to the frame.”
What God places inside our vessel isn’t a shapeless, colorless lump of clay. It’s treasure. The spectacular, brilliant, blinding treasure of the gospel. And He’s entrusted it to our weak, broken jars. Because it’s through our cracks and holes that the Light shines through.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
We aren’t beautiful, unbreakable jars holding clay, we are frail, weak jars made of clay. And yet we’re holding God’s richest and most glorious treasure.
Sisters in Christ, let’s thank Him.
Let’s thank Him for our cracks.
Let’s thank Him that outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Let’s thank Him for the light and momentary troubles that are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Let’s thank Him for our fresh start.