But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power
is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
Life is fragile. The flesh and blood body that wraps our spirit and our soul is prone to illness, disease and decay. We are, the Apostle Paul says, jars of clay—scooped from the dust of the ground by the hand of the Almighty. We can be broken, stepped on and crushed by this world.
But, when through the Holy Spirit of the Living God, Christ dwells in us, God’s all-surpassing power can be demonstrated through us in the midst of every turmoil and crisis. When we think we are at the end of our rope, hope lives in us.
Paul continues by saying, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (vs 8-9)
God is the source of our power, and it is our responsibility to remain plugged in, charged and recharged.
When life is hard and we are tempted to sequester ourselves from the world, when tragedy strikes and we are tempted to blame God, when we grow weary in well doing or are just tired of the rat race of life, God is our strength; Jesus is the treasure we hold in our clay jar. That it is God’s strength and power and not ours alone motivates us to put one foot in front of the other to make it through the day.
And in the doing of that…in the “making it through” in the not giving in or giving up, in the “staying plugged into the power” of the Almighty, we allow the light of the world to shine through the cracks in our clay jar.
So never forget, with Christ living in you and me, when the storms of life sweep over our clay jar and appear to be aimlessly tossing us about, when we are hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down, and when the cracks in our clay seem to be widening, we hold this treasure of the “all-surpassing” power of the Living God who assures that we will not be destroyed.
In the end, the fragility of life allows us the privilege of proclaiming the power and glory of our Great God to the world. So don’t give in to despair and hopelessness when they come pounding against your jar. Plug into the power within you and remember the words of Paul, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (v 16)
© Joyce Powell