But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
Last night as I cradled my daughter in my arms in the rocking chair, I felt the weight of so many burdens pressing in on me.
I don’t claim to carry some of the heavy burdens that some of my friends are carrying, but whatever our burden is, it’s very real to us.
We’ve all had those days — those days, when the weight of this world feels like it’s going to crush us into the ground.
I don’t know why I do this so often because I know better… Maybe because I am human and a sinner and flawed… a jar of clay… So often when times get tough, I believe the lie that I just need to have more faith, be a better parent, live more righteously, be stronger, be like so and so, be more loving, be kinder, and then this thing called life will be easier.
I think that if I do more of something, I will be victorious and life will be easier.
Why, oh why, do I still believe that way at times (by the way I live)?!!
It all goes back to that truth that I am an “earthen vessel” or “jar of clay.”
Sometimes, I want to demand of God, “Why did you give so much responsibility to such a cracked jar of clay?”
So often, we take pride in being strong. We compliment each other on that too. Oh, the burdens we place on others that we nor anyone else was meant to carry!
So, last night as I was rocking my daughter and felt so many burdens pressing upon me, I did what I should have done much earlier on… I did what so often we believe makes us a failure. I admitted that I couldn’t do it.
With tears in my eyes, I began to cry out to God. I told Him I couldn’t do it. With the name of Jesus on my lips, I asked Him to help me and told Him, “I surrender myself to You. Help me, Jesus. Help me.”
I read in Discerning The Voice Of God by Priscilla Shirer that you will know God’s will when it requires you to do something that you can only do in His strength.
Why do we pride ourselves on trying to be enough and be strong when we are anything but it in ourselves?
As God’s Word says, and I can attest to this personally:
2 Corinthians 12:10
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Why do we dislike admitting our faults and weaknesses?
Pride and a lack of understanding of God and of who we are in Him is what prevents us from being honest before God, ourselves, and others.
It’s when we do not fully understand God’s grace that we despise any signs of weakness or failings in ourselves and/or others.
What we don’t realize is that “strength” in the flesh is really weakness wearing a mask.
As fallible humans, the only things we are capable of producing in ourselves is just as flawed as we are.
What happens though when God takes a flawed, broken person, a “human jar of clay” and begins to reshape and remake it, while at the same time filling that same jar with the light of His Presence?
I love what Gloria Furman said in her book, Glimpses Of Grace:
When God entrusts the gospel to us, it makes His power all the more obvious. God delights in glorifying Himself by using jars of clay to show that the surpassing power of the Gospel is His, and His alone.
But sometimes, we’d much rather it be the other way around. We don’t like to be weak. We prefer to be strong. We deny our weaknesses and failures and cover them up with pretense and excuses.
…our greatest fear is in being found incompetent, insufficient, and ineffective.
God is praised through our insufficiencies.
These powerful quotes from Glimpses of Grace say the following:
Our preference boils down to just that — we are the ones who want to be admired. We want to live for our own glory.
When we are reluctant to exalt God and recognize His position of authority in our lives, we resent His desire to use us in our fragile, sinful states.
“When we are reluctant to exalt God and recognize His position of authority in our lives, we resent His desire to use us in our fragile, sinful states.”
When we accurately understand Who God is and who we are in Him, we are willing to hand our “jars of clay” over to Him and allow Him to use us as He works on remaking us into His image.
I love the following quotes from Glimpses Of Grace:
The gospel [of grace] is the lens through which God sees us when we have faith in His Son — the gospel is our one great, permanent circumstance.
Jesus’ blood and righteousness is sufficient for me and gives me bold access to God’s throne room.
God is asking you: “Are you willing to honor me in your brokenness?”
I have been given a job of raising five children to love and serve God. It’s an impossible task! I am completely ill-equipped in my own strength to handle it and to do it successfully. When I rely on God’s strength, I have all the gifts from God the Father at my disposal. The impossible becomes possible. The broken becomes beautiful. The weak becomes strong…
This is my greatest reality — not my circumstances — but the truth:
- Jesus… is our firm foundation.
- We are confident because we are in Him.
- We are bold because He has gone before.
- We persevere through trials because He is interceding for us.
- We declare His victory over our sin because He has nailed the condemning record against us to the cross
(Taken from Glimpses Of Grace)