I know we’re both somewhat losers, a mess of bloodied bandages, soul bruises and injuries
(self-inflicted as much as not).
And maybe I’m but a blackened pot.
Look, I know it’s tough and confusing and it hurts and you’ve had enough of uncertainty and pain
and you want to stay where you’ve lain in the messy bed which you’ve made
and never want to open your wounds to anyone again – I know.
And God knows I’m probably the last person you’d pick to do this job,
but we know that God often picks that last person and they do the job best.
Because they understand, like Gideon, it’s not from them, this treasure in their chest
that they are just a jar of clay
just maybe they can show the other how they shine.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NLT)
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.