Treasure in Jars of Clay

Rev. Deb Koster

August 7, 2012

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.

About the author — Rev. Deb Koster

Deb Koster is a producer, writer, and speaker for Family Fire. She is also an Innkeeper at The Parsonage Inn in Grand Rapids, MI where she leads marriage retreat on weekends. After over 20 years as a Registered Nurse, she completed a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Deb and her husband Steven enjoy doing ministry together and they are the parents of three awesome young adults.

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