Jars of Clay

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2ndCorinthians 4:6-7) 

We are just pottery, people formed by the hands of God from the dust of the Earth. But here is a mystery: He has put inside these pots a treasure. A priceless substance, worth more than gold. A powerful substance, that diffuses into the deepest hiding place and dissolves and dissipates the foulest muck. A sublime substance, beyond our ability to comprehend or describe.

Paul tries to describe it… Light, knowledge, glory. It sounds ethereal, unreal, yet it is a surpassing power. The face of Jesus Christ. Who is this man, the glimpse of whose face transforms, frees, empowers?

When I was seven years old, I invited Jesus to come into my heart. Did I have any idea what I was asking? Could I imagine the treasure promised? No. I didn’t and I couldn’t, and no one would ever have guessed.  For many years, I worked hard at maintaining my pot. I tried to patch the cracks, and polish the rough clay. I even tried to decorate it a bit, hide the drab brown with a little color, some pretty design. I had it looking halfway decent on the surface, but the cracks were growing. The thing could not hold together forever. Thank God.

With such precious contents, the only real virtue we clay pots can have is to be broken, so the light can shine forth. But we don’t understand this, and we try so very hard to keep it from happening. Being broken is a scary thought.

Eventually, my pot came apart. Actually I would say God broke it. When I was struggling the hardest to keep it all together, his kindness came over me like an ocean wave, and I lost my grip. It was OK. It seems I never really had a grip anyway. The pot slipped apart and there was the treasure, all bright and wonderful, just as he said it would be.

I forget sometimes. I try to pull myself together again, patch things up and hide the glory. But it doesn’t last long. I really don’t have the strength or the ambition any more.

Let it go. Let it out.