Last week I moved accross state lines. I will be honest, it was pretty stressful. Several things did not go as planned. My baby girl became ill. Our temporary house came complete with a broken swamp cooler and additional residents. (mice-yikes!) Despite the chaos and tears, I learned a valuable lesson…
I am fragile.
We use the simple to protect the treasured
As I sat in the middle of a sea of moving boxes last week, I realized that I put alot of faith in a simple, ordinary, cardboard box. I trust it to protect the treasures within it, even though I realize that the box, itself, can be damaged.
The box didn’t come to me first asking to be used. I purchased it, filled it, sealed it, and labeled it.
The cardboard box became valuable to me because of what I placed inside it.
In Biblical times, the same was true of jars of clay. A potter took the time to make the clay, and form it into a container that was ordinary and fragile. Food, water, and various treasures were then stored in the jar of clay, making it useful.
The jars of clay became valuable because of what was placed inside them.
I am a jar of clay
I am fragile.
I am ordinary.
I contain a treasure within me.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7 Paul writes:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
What I find interesting about this verse is that it is a part of Paul’s defense of his ministry to the Corinthian church. False teachers were infilitrating the church after Paul left and were challenging his authority. Instead of writing about all of his accomplishments, and why people should listen to him, Paul passionately defended his ministry of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ (see Chapter 3) and then
called himself a jar of clay.
Can you imagine what the Corinthians must have thought? Who is your hero of the faith? Maybe it is your Pastor, a Christian author or musician, or even Mother Theresa. What if they wrote to you today and called themselves a cardboard box?
I love Paul’s humility here. But what amazes me more is the rest of the verse…
“…to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
Though Paul is fragile and ordinary, God chose to place the treasure of the “light of the Gospel” within him (2 Corinthians 4:4-6). The God who is able, immortal, omnipotent, wise, and loving chose to place His Spirit and the Gospel ministry inside of sinful, fragile men and women.
So that His power would be evident through us.
So that our insufficency proves His sufficency.
So that during the moments where I wanted to fall on the floor and cry, I was able to remain calm and even laugh. It was in those moments I knew God’s power was sustaining me.
I am a cardboard box
When it came time for the move, boxes were purchased. They were then filled, sealed, and labeled. Though they can be damaged, I still trust them. These boxes are valuable to me.
God purchased me with His Son Jesus’ blood.
The Holy Spirit has filled and sealed me.
I am labeled His for eternity.
I am broken and fragile, but God entrusts the ministry of the Gospel to me.
God crucified His Son, Jesus, because I am valuable to Him.
I have more in common with a cardboard box than I once thought.
I am fragile, but I carry within me that which is Holy.
Are you a cardboard box? Then stay tuned…in the next post we are going to take a look at the verses that follow 2 Corinthians 4:7. I promise they will be an encouragement to you. In the meantime, have you seen evidences of your fraility/God’s power in your life recently? I welcome your examples below in the comment section. I am praising God for His power today!