Treasure in Jars of Clay
The very God who called the universe into being and created order out of nothing places his light, his very presence, within us. How blessed are we that God himself should dwell within us. He does not do this because we are so great and powerful; in fact, quite the opposite. He refers to us as jars of clay. He is the strength in our weakness.
Clay is not stuff of strength, but of fragility. Isaiah 45:9 reminds us that clay cannot choose its form or instruct the potter. It is helpless. We have the form and design that our heavenly Father intended for us. As much as we might wish to have different skills, looks, or abilities, God as the potter has designed us with his purpose in mind.
So what was God’s purpose in placing something so important in something so weak? Verse 7 tells us that God has placed his light within us so that others will see and come to know not us and our strength, but the glory of God at work within us. As fragile pottery, it is not in our strength where God is seen, but rather in our weakness where God’s presence shines through the cracks. God is not looking for perfect people who have their act all together, for then we could boast in our own strength.
It’s hard to trust that God accepts our weakness. We want to be good enough on our own. Yet when we let our weakness show, others are drawn to Jesus our healer, who shines through all of our broken places. What an awesome God who uses our failures for his glory. Our hurt and pain become channels for God’s glory to shine. He wastes nothing; all of our sin and shortcomings and sufferings, made whole in him, become his instruments to bless us and those around us.
God has a way of hijacking us, taking us to a place where we have to say, “This was all God’s doing, because it sure wasn’t me.” When we acknowledge our own helplessness and trust God to reveal his purposes, his light shines powerfully through all of our frailty. We are better witnesses to Christ when we stop pretending we have it all together and allow Christ to be seen through our cracks.
Tell others about your experiences of hopelessness and helplessness. Speak of God’s strength in our weakness. Let them know how hard your Savior clung to you to keep you from falling to pieces. It is in these places of honesty that God’s glory shines the brightest, and we can show others our God of healing.
Lord, Thank you for making your home in us. Give us the courage to acknowledge our own brokenness. Help us to let you shine through our wounds. Use the hurts of our life to let your glory shine. May others see you through us. In Jesus name,Amen.
Step families come with a variety of challenges to weather from the moment they say “I do.” Ron Deal addresses specific challenges and offers biblical insight as well as clinical experience as a marriage and family therapist to help equip couples for the journey ahead. He offers hope and encouragement for helping families navigate establishing working relationships within the new family as well as with the extended family.
http://glendora.patch.com/articles/your-marriage-is-a-gift Advice for weathering the storms of marriage from the Glendora Patch
"More importantly, if it is so difficult, why bother trying to make marriage work? For starters, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Research consistently shows that children tend to fare better in married, two-parent households. The investment you make in your marriage not only rewards you and your spouse, the dividends spill over to your children as well"