Jars of Clay

For the past ten weeks I have been attending a Bible study led by Joanne Ellison from Drawing Near to God ministries. The following thought process was inspired from a recent lesson. This isn’t a light & fluffy post. I hope it touches each of your hearts, because none of us are without suffering through loss and heartache in this life.

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. II Corinthians 4:7-9

Why do bad things happen to good people? What about all the loss, suffering, and tragedy that seem to be the norm for so many? Why why why, we constantly ask. And how are we suppose to continue to live in the midst of all the despair that tragedy can so easily bring.

We wonder why God has forgotten us, why He has not answered our prayers in the way we want them answered. But what if, there were ten times, a hundred times, more worse stuff that could happen to us, that never does because God does intervene. I could be completely wrong here. I really have no idea why He allows the bad stuff to happen. But consider this…

As Christians, we are (or should be) like jars of clay, molded and sculpted by Him to be who He wants us to be. And in our innermost being….that is where He, God, dwells in us. We are now the tabernacle, the tent of the Old, which houses not only His presence but His light.

And to be the jar that shines His light, we need cracks to fully showcase that light. For, unless there are cracks in a closed jar, the light only shines dimly. Perhaps that is why God allows some of those bad things happen to us…

For if  you are a fully formed jar of clay, the best way to see the flame deep inside you is through cracks in your hardened exterior. But the only way to get those cracks is to be broken, going through difficult and trying times. Because when we are broken, that is when His light shines the brightest through us.

My husband’s brother committed suicide 2 years ago. At first, the loss seemed insurmountable. There are moments, it still does. But I believe that the only reason we are moving through, moving past, is from the presence of God in our lives. Not that we haven’t been mad and angry with Him. Not that we haven’t wanted to wash our hands of Him. But it’s His peace that brings us sleep on a restless night, His grace that prompts uplifting words from strangers – in the moment they are needed most, and it’s His abounding love that encourages us to ask the hard questions and finally settle on believing through faith, not through understanding.

His light that shines through us from this brokenness hopefully encourages others who go through tragedy themselves. It shines bright so that hurting people can find the hope that is desperately needed to continue to live with joy, happiness, and excitement for all life brings.

Its not easy, after going through tragedy, to look forward to what tomorrow brings. Trust me, I know that wholeheartedly. But its an encouragement to look at others who have spent plenty of time in the trenches but still find joy in the future.

~ Jessica

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  1. That is really inspiring Jessica! 😀

  2. After loosing several relatives in very tragic ways, I have come to the place of simply choosing to trust God no matter what. I tried the other options and they didn’t lead anywhere nice… Thanks for sharing this. It will help others who struggle with untimely deaths. It blessed me.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Hi Wendy,
      Thank you for commenting and I am so glad you were able to connect with this. I hear you on other options not leading anywhere… I often tell my husband that even if I get to the end of this life and find everything I believed was all wrong, I would rather go through life with hope than live life in misery.

      Have a wonderful day – Jessica

  3. Deb Barnett says:

    Jessica, This is beautifully written and truly an inspiration to Allen and I. We sure do love you. I, too, am enjoying Drawing Near to God. Lamentations 3:21…”But this I call to mind, and therefore I have home: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; the are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. and then…24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.”

  4. Deb Barnett says:

    Actually the verse says, I have hope…not home….. Thanks be to God. I do have hope.

  5. Deb Barnett says:

    This is an amazing site in many ways!