My mother-in-law fell several weeks back. She and my father-in-law were leaving one of their favorite restaurants, and she tripped over a car stop in the parking lot. She landed face first on the pavement. It hurts me even to write it.
What was a lovely evening between a beautiful husband and wife ended in an ambulance ride, a week of hospitalization, and then another couple of weeks of rehab. She is home recovering now. And we feel grateful. It could have been so much worse.
Our bodies are fragile. This life is fragile. Jars of clay are fragile.
But even jars of clay have a treasure.
Like Paul on the road to Damascus, we have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Seeing leads to knowing. Not a knowing of facts and figures, but a knowing deep in your soul. A knowing that leaves you facedown in the dust with heaven’s glory dancing all around. Beathless and even blind as you contemplate what it means to come face-to-face with Jesus.
At any moment our bodies could be shattered, just like a jar of clay that slips through the fingers. But when we know the glory of God in the face of Jesus, our fragile bodies become a display of the power of God.
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. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
The life of Christ manifested through fragile jars of clay … this is our greatest impact.