By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4: 4-12
Whether it happens in our own lives, or we watch others struggle, we know when difficult times come they can be overwhelming and draining. Whether it’s a relationship issue, a chronic illness, an expected accident, or a tragic event, we can feel helpless or worst yet, hopeless.
But as we learn from the Apostle Paul in this verse, if Jesus Christ is manifested in us we may be perplexed but we’re not crushed. We may be persecuted by we are not forsaken. We may be struck down but we are not destroyed.
For we are delicate jars of clay that are fragile and broken. But these broken jars of clay are also blessed with wonderful treasures known as the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. The Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, given to us by the Holy Spirit.
So why do we and other Christian brothers and sisters crash when our world is not perfectly aligned? Why do we allow relatively minor offenses to alter our mood and steal our joy? Because we are not focused on what should be the center of our existent – Jesus Christ.
Paul points out we should always be reflecting on what Christ did for us in providing us with a second chance to one day walk in the presence of our Father. And with this constant focus – the life of Jesus will manifest in our minds and hearts. But our focus is inconsistent. It is now and then. It is hit or miss. It happens when it is convenient for us.
As Christians, we often do a poor job in tapping into the desires of the Holy Spirit, but instead are focused on our own understanding of our circumstances and lives. The clay pot remains broken although one of our Heavenly Father’s mission is to repair our brokenness. To stop some of the cracks from leaking.
But we stand in the way of allowing Him to achieve that goal because our focus is not centered on building a thriving relationship with Him. Instead, we fill our hunger with distractions the world provides and we are not thirsty although what we drink is foul and contaminated by sinful desires.
Our misguided focus is what continues to keep us frustrated by the annoyances of life. And what prevents us from living the abundant life He has promised us.
Great Father we long to be obedient and our efforts centered solely on the desires of your heart. But we are broken jars of clay. We ask that you give us the ability to be mindful of your efforts to mend our cracks and to keep the fire of the Holy Spirit burning continuously in our hearts. We ask this in your son’s name. Amen.