“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7, ESV).
Recently I visited a pottery store in my area, looking for a special gift. I perused the gallery-like store, marveling at the beautiful pieces crafted by local artisans. I quickly found the perfect gift – a set of golden glazed wood-fired mugs.
As I walked to my car parked behind the store, a sign on a small shed caught my attention: “Tired and Flawed Pots”.
I chuckled to myself, appreciating the honesty of whoever put up the sign.
At first glance, the pottery in the shed looked similar to the pieces inside the store. But when I looked closer, I noticed they were chipped, misshapen, or flawed in some way.
For whatever reason, the potter had deemed them unworthy of a place in the main store.
Honestly, I sometimes wonder if God sees me that way. Am I too tired, flawed, and weak to be worthy of value by God?
When my weaknesses and sinful nature frustrate me, I am tempted to believe the lie that I’m not good enough, or have been put on the shelf of the shed.
But I am learning that the opposite is true.
In the ancient world, clay jars were symbolic of human weakness. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he reminds us that God chooses the clay jars to fill with his treasure – the Power of the Good News of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:7).
What amazing news! As followers of Jesus:
· Each of us are clay jars
· Each of us has this treasure- The Light of the Gospel
· The Power of the treasure belongs to God, not us
· God shows His Power through us - the clay jars
Paul goes on to encourage us to be content with our weaknesses and hardships, and even boast of them.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV).
Friend, if you are feeling weak and discouraged today, remember this truth:
God has given you His treasure in your weakness, and He will shine His power through it. In fact, your weakness may be the very thing God will use to bring others to Him.
We can choose to bring our weaknesses to Jesus in prayer, instead of becoming frustrated by them or letting them trip us up. With our focus on the treasure, and not the clay jar, those around us will see the surpassing power of God shining through us.
Loving Father, thank you for entrusting us with the treasure of Jesus. Help us to focus on the treasure you are, and not our weaknesses. Shine through our clay jars! Amen.