The more and more I learn about God and his ways the more and more I learn how different they are from the world's ways. I've often heard that when people look at you like you're insane for doing certain things you know it's God. I mean, we read in Scriptures that we're supposed to be set apart. We're supposed to be different (Romans 12:2). We read that His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). And as I study the following passage of scripture I am reminded even more of his higher ways.
In 2 Corinthians 4:6-9 we read, "For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 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."
The treasure he is speaking of is the knowledge of God and his glory and the clay jars are us. In ancient times clay jars were used as a metaphor for human weakness. Clay jars are fragile and can easily crack. Once cracked they are of no use. But God has decided to place his glory, the greatest treasure, inside of us--us broken people. I love the picture we get from this. We are like a clay pot with cracks holding a great treasure. We have cracks from broken families. Cracks from depression. Cracks from abuse. Cracks from worry, doubt and fear. Cracks from wrong decisions, and even from decisions we didn't have the freedom to make for ourselves. We are all broken. We have all fallen short. That is the hard-hitting truth and reality. And the enemy tries to tell us, "You're broken. You can't do that. You're no good. You're weak." and in our minds we begin to believe the lie that because we're cracked, what use are we to God anymore?
But the story doesn't end there. Oh no, the story is so beautiful!
God's grace abounds in our brokenness. God chose to and was glad to place all the fullness of himself inside of us broken people (Colossians 2:9-10). Why? So that his glory would shine for all to see. You see many of us have tried to fill our cracks with other things. Maybe it's love from the wrong places. Maybe it's working to make yourself feel accomplished. Maybe it's trying to be independent so that you can feel like you made it through on your own. Maybe it's placing religion over a relationship with God. Whatever it is, God's power and glory is inside of us waiting to shine through. You see, it is such a beautiful picture to think of light bursting through all the cracks. It shows that even though we are broken he is greater. He is greater than depression, broken marriages, doubt, abuse, fear of failure. He is greater. So because he is greater and he is inside of us we have assurance that even though we may have troubles we will not be crushed. We will face more hardships in this life, but we are never abandoned by God. It is in our trials that God becomes glorified because we can stand up and say, "Even though this happened I am still strong because the one inside of me is greater than anything I have faced and will ever face!" When we let his light shine out of our darkest times so that others can see him, he receives all the glory, not us.
So stop trying to fill in the cracks with things that won't last. Allow his light to shine through the cracks from the darkest places inside of you, so that he may be glorified and others may know how great of a treasure we hold!