Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Treasures in Jars 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


Do I ever feel crushed, crunched?
Sure, but Jesus puts me back together.
I can expect healing again.

Do I ever feel despair, defeat? 
Sure, but I don't have to stay there.
I can reach for hope again.

Do I ever feel abandoned, alone?
Sure, but God is still there, still cares.
I can ask him to fill me with his presence again.

Do I ever feel destroyed, damaged?
Sure, but God is a great re-builder.
I can rise from the ashes again.

Oh, and just what is that treasure 
in the jars of clay?

"… God has chosen to make known
the glorious riches of this mystery,
which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory."
He is the one we proclaim,
admonishing and teaching everyone
with all wisdom, 
so that we may present everyone
fully mature in Christ. 
To this end I strenuously contend 
with all the energy
Christ so powerfully works in me.
Colossians 1:27-29

“Be filled with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18

I want it all right now.
Sometimes I have to wait.
Sometimes I have to grow up.
And sometimes that's how he does it,
how I can cooperate with the change :
by patiently waiting and
by purposefully maturing
into authentic Christ-likeness.

He is the treasure 
in this jar of clay.

Virginia Knowles


(P.S. I oil painted the still life 
30 years ago.
The gray water jug and pink scarf 
are from a mission trip to Israel. )

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