Jars of Clay

Feeling weak?
Frustrated you can’t keep doing what you used to do?
Everything hurts and you wonder how you got old so quickly? Because you aren’t that old.
All you do is go from one doctor’s appointment to another, but they fix nothing!

Corinthians answers why.
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.

Let me tell you the secret.
We are just jars of clay.
Consider a jar of clay.
Prior to plastic or stainless steel, there was the humble clay jar.
Used everywhere—from kitchen for water and cooking, to the bathroom (though they didn’t have that room back then, they used a jar for night time needs)—
the clay jar was possessed by everyone.
It was common.

Not only did everyone have several, but they used it every day (and night, for that nighttime sip or visit.)
But because they were made from clay (essentially special dirt), they were perishable, easily broken, fragile.
In spite of care, they would break.
They weren’t meant to throw around (unlike those Tupperware bowls you can’t destroy even when they have spaghetti stains microwaved in them.)
Once the clay jars did break, the shards and pieces were useless.
There was no putting it back together for a useful,  water sealed jar again.

These jars of clay are our bodies.
The first man, Adam, was made from dirt.
He was perfect in every way.
And God’s been making each one of us, like clay jars, ever since.

Clay jars are made by hand.
There’s no mass production of them.
Each one is carefully formed by the Potter.
It’s a process. Not done without time and effort.

Before the clay can even be worked, it must be pressed and pounded to remove the impurities.
If you want to explore how the clay was obtained from the dirt and prepared for use, read Empty Hands.
It's the Christmas story from a potter’s perspective and tells all that must be done to the clay to make it useable.

Feel like you’re being squeezed beyond what you can take?
The Potter’s preparing His clay.
He’s not satisfied until it is just right.
It’s the Potter, not the clay, Who decides what the clay must be.

Jeremiah reminds us that in Jeremiah 18:4
And the vessel he (the potter) was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand,
and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Matthew mentioned the Potter’s field. Matthew 27:10.
What do you expect to find in a Potter’s field?
Pieces of clay jars discarded because they broke and are useless to the Potter’s needs.
The Potter determines the clay jar’s worth.

It’s not about preserving the clay jar.
It’s not even about making that clay jar as attractive as it can be.
Or even how long the clay jar should be used.
It’s all about what the clay jar holds.

What does the clay jar hold?
Look at the verse before stating we are 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. 2 Corinthians 4:6.

God makes us jars of clay to hold His light.
What does His light do?

Shine the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Remember when Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai with God? 
When he returned, the people couldn’t look at him because his face shone too much. See Exodus 34:29-35.
Moses had been with God.
Everyone could tell.
Can anyone tell you have?

When Isaiah saw just the glory of God, he fell to his knees and said, “Woe is me.” Isaiah 6:5.
Isaiah recognized he was just a jar of clay.

When Jesus came to earth, He reflected the Father’s love that He drew children to Him.
He had to tell his disciples, Suffer the little children to come to me. Matthew 19:14.
He didn’t have to tell of His love, He showed it.

But it was still veiled.
Because man could not look at God’s glory without perishing.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He fulfilled everything His Father had requested.
He returned to heaven—and God glorified Him. Colossians 1 explains this.
Note verse 19, For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) should all fulness dwell.
Jesus now reflects the glory of God.

That’s what God put into our jars of clay.
When we recognize our frailty, our sin, our brokenness, and accept His Son’s saving work on the cross that paid the cost for our sin,
we receive that face of Jesus reflecting the glory of God into our jars of clay.

We don’t need more hair spray or toothpaste, more style or fancy clothes.
We can’t improve on God’s glory.
We don't need anything else.
God provides it all.

It’s uncomprehensible that God would desire to put His glory into jars of clay!
But He has.

God provides a treasure for our fragile bodies to hold.
But not to hold and keep hidden, but to show.

Show what? 

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.

God makes us jars of clay—fragile, helpless, breakable—to show His power.

As we acknowledge our weakness and submit to the Potter’s Hands, God shows His strength.
As we spend time with God, Christ’s glory reflects through us.

Too often, we think it’s about the jar of clay.
Heal me, God, I hurt.
Fix me, God, I can’t do what I used to do.
These bodies, like jars of clay, aging quicker than anyone every told me, are not what it’s about.
It’s about God’s power and glory.
It’s about God.

It’s not about us.
It’s all about God.

Feeling weak?

That’s what the Potter’s been trying to show you.
So you’ll spend some time with Him.
And as you spend that time, His glory will shine through you.

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I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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