Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jars of Clay

2 Cor 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."

This verse is hitting me today because of a phone call that we got at 2:23 in the morning last night. Georgann and I were sound asleep and the phone rang. Now, you know that when the phone rings at that time in the night that it is either a drunk guy who is dialing the wrong number, or it is bad news. I wish it were the drunk guy...but it wasn't. Michelle called and asked us to pray for Dave Underwood, Jeremy's dad. Apparently, he was pitching in a softball game last night and a line drive decided to make its way to his face. He was rushed to the hospital and may need surgery this morning. And here is the reminder, we live in earthen vessels...or as the NIV puts it: "jars of clay". In other words, we are fragile, fallible people. We are easily broken, and injured, and as we get older we realize that these bodies are breaking down.

And Paul says that this is good thing. Why? Why is it good that we are temporary clay pots? Because these clay pots hold a treasure that is powerful. And if that treasure was contained in something that was strong and infallible then we would start to depend on who we are. I might be tempted to say: "Look at me. Look at how great I am. Look at what I am able to do." This can't happen, though, because deep down we know who we really are. I feel my back hurting when I lift bags of mulch. I see the age spots on my face. More and more I realize that I am temporary. If anything of eternal value is accomplished in this body it is not because of me, it is because of God.

The weird thing is that God entrusts this treasure, this "light in the knowledge of the glory of God" (v6)in such weak creatures. But He does. He knows what He is doing. And why does He do it? So people know that this is a supernatural thing. So people know that what happens through our lives is not something that is even remotely humanly possible. The excellence of the power is totally can't be explained any other way.

So, when I am tempted to take credit, when I even think that I may be capable to doing anything of eternal value in myself, think again. There is no way. It is all God. It will always be God. It will never be me...because I am a jar of clay, a mud pot, an earthen vessel...that has the power and glory of God dwelling inside of me. Wow!

And once again: I am nothing, He is everything, and He wants to use me.

(Please pray for Dave Underwood)

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