Beautiful, Broken Jar of Clay


But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NIV

My heart sinks as I pick up tiny pottery pieces off the cabinet.

“Another chip off my favorite piece of pottery,” I gloomily think.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time my earthenware has suffered damage.  There’s no way to fix this.  I have tried in the past to glue the bowl back together but it always ends up breaking again, many times taking a new piece of clay with it.

I sit the bowl to the side and think of how much I love the pottery.  It was a wedding gift almost twenty years ago, my very first piece to start my collection.  I think back on the times I have tried to repair it and have even searched the pottery market to replace it.  With no success, I realize now is time to retire the piece, placing it in the back of the cabinet.  It’s now just an old, weathered, fragile memory.

I’m reminded of jars of clay Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians.  He compares me, as a believer, to a fragile pot of clay.  It is interesting to understand that in Biblical times, clay jars were not prestigious.  They were ordinary, common, easily broken, and often discarded.  They were used for carrying water or as trash containers.  The clay jars of long ago did not hold expensive liquids.  Only gold, silver, and well cured ceramics were used to house the valuable items.  They were considered more reliable, sturdy, and impressive.

As humbling as this sounds, however, I’m reminded that as a clay jar, I hold a precious treasure. 

The Spirit of God lives within me- the same Spirit that fed a crowd of 5,000 and rose Jesus from the grave dwells within me.  With this treasure is the message of salvation which God has entrusted to me, a mere, weak human.  He places His most precious gem in me so that others will see and experience the blessing of Christ rather than being impressed with anything I could ever be or do on my own.

Though I am feeble and may crumble, He still uses me to share His message and provides power to carry out His work.  He is continually with me, never leaving or forsaking me.  Therefore, when I go through tough times, as I’m jostled, bumped, scraped, or even cracked, my contents spill out.  The Spirit and Presence of Christ saturate the area, sharing His valuables with others.  Through these difficulties, my jar of clay is beautiful as it leaks out hope that only Jesus provides.  The cracks and imperfections are used to point those around me to Christ.

Be encouraged that even if you are facing hard times, God has a plan for your life. 

He can and will use your weakness and fragility for His glory.  Whether your clay jar is being tested or retired to the back of cabinet like my old piece of pottery, spread the inner dwelling Good News  right where you are today.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to die on the cross and allowing Your Holy presence to dwell within me.  Help me to use the struggles and weaknesses in my life to share what You have done for me.  Give me strength and courage to demonstrate and tell others about the beautiful hope You alone have given me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

By Alisha Ritchie
Used by Permission

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