Do you ever have a bad day? I don’t mean a bad day as in I cracked a nail or my car broke down, I mean a spiritually bad or trying day. We suffer a crisis, or we feel our minds are far from God, far from the pursuing of holiness, and far from what we claim to believe. We fall into a temptation, sin, attitude, or apathy that makes us feel like the prodigal son eating from the trough. We experience a trial that makes us question God, or a pain we can’t endure alone.
Please take this to heart: Everyone will have times of struggle or trial. EVERYONE.
Why? Because we are fallen people living in a fallen world. When we are saved our human/sin nature comes into direct contention with the new heart given to us by the Spirit. Every day is a battle between the light and the dark, the holy and the profane, the sacrificing and the selfish. Because of sin, this world is fallen, and because it’s fallen, there will be moments of pain and struggle. There will be days when human nature supercedes the new heart, or where life throws us things we feel we don’t deserve. It’s a fact of life that will never be avoided. But God has a plan, and it was to show His glory on this fallen planet through imperfect human beings.
Sometimes I wonder why God chose to do it this way. Logically it makes more sense for glorious and perfect things to reflect His glory, but that isn’t how He decided to work. He went the other direction, and this direction is much more beautiful.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul describes us as “jars of clay” containing great treasure. God chose imperfect people to reflect His glory because He didn’t want there to be any confusion. He wanted it to be obvious that the beauty and the light was coming from inside the filthy clay jars, not the jars themselves. We’re chosen to be instruments of His glory despite our imperfections because it only shows His glory all the more.
God didn’t want people to be drawn to us because we’re so amazing, He wanted people to be drawn to him through us because He’s so amazing. We think of the moments where we crack as a bad thing, and it’s the opposite. It’s when the light inside of us has the chance to shine through.
A dear friend of mine lost his mother and aunt in a car accident recently. When I arrived at the hospital, there were dozens of people there crowded into the halls, all praying and ministering to this family that is going through a desolate valley of hurt and loss. But through the anguish everyone was feeling, I saw something beautiful: the body of Christ in action. It was a kaleidoscope of imperfect people showing the perfect love of Christ, and my heart felt a taste of heaven despite the heavy burden of pain. Through the power of Christ working through us, cracked and worn jars of clay can show the love of heaven.