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Treasure in Clay Jars

A while ago I had a dream where I was busy making a clay jar.

But this clay jar didn’t look the way it was supposed to. Its bottom was wide, and its neck was fragile.

When I was done with shaping my clay jar, ready to have it refined, I heard a voice, a very gentle voice telling me, that the one I am busy with will be broken, and made new. ‘We are going to start over.’

Before I had the dream, I read the parable of the potter in Jeremiah 18 verses 1 – 6.

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal My words to you. So I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working away at the wheel. But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, and it seemed right for him to do. The word of the LORD came to me: ‘House of Israel, can I not treat you as a potter treats his clay?’ – this is the LORD’s declaration. ‘Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel.’

Thinking that the dream might just be referring to this – I came to the very obvious conclusion that God is the potter, and I am the clay. And He wants to shape me and mould me into what I am supposed to be.

But a day after I had the dream, I came across 2 Corinthians 4 verses 7 – 9.

“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are pressured in every way but not crushed, we are perplexed but not in despair, we are persecuted but not abandoned, we are struck down but not destroyed.”

And then 2 Corinthians 4 verse 16 – 18:

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So that we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

These verses pack such enormous truths.

Since last year, it has been one major transitioning season for me.

If you know the story of the Israelites being freed from Egypt, on their way to the Promised Land, there is an in-between part: the desert.

Over the course of the past few months I found myself in a desert. Sometimes an oasis in the middle of the desert, but nontheless the desert. A wilderness. A valley.

Currently, our world is fast-paced, same-day-delivery, express. We expect results at the touch of a button.

And we’ve forgotten what it takes to nurture something; we want to see the end of a season, and immediately step into the next one.

I made that same mistake. And as I bid farewell to one season in my life, I was expecting I would walk straight into the next.

But nope.

There was a lot of work to be done.

Previously, I’ve morphed my identity into being someone who delivers. I always went the extra mile, and I started living for the ‘job well done’ affirmations, and the awards, because there was an enormous gap in my life that I wanted to fill with whatever.

The clay jar I had worked on was malformed, it lacked depth, and it didn’t look appealing.

And now walking with Christ, He came to tell me “We are going to start over. We are going to break down the clay, and together we will work on a new clay jar.’

This time - with Jesus as my teacher, instructor, and guide.

I was ready, I knew it was not going to be easy.

But, I did not expect it to be this hard.

For the past few months, I have been on a journey where I had to look in the mirror, long and hard.

Different scenarios required me to look deep inside, at the places I thought I had healed from.

And what a sight it was to see.

I was made aware of how truly broken I am. How malformed I truly am and how much baggage I was still carrying around with me.

Aside from being made aware, I had to identify it, figure out its root, and ultimately bring it all to the Lord and lay it all bare in front of Him.

And I did not want to. I wanted to keep holding on to that broken pieces, all that baggage. I did not want to face it head-on, identify it. Nope. I was perfectly fine with my malformed clay jar.

But, I was left with more questions; do I continue to operate as this broken / malformed clay jar? Will I even be able to carry all the broken pieces? Will I be able to ‘keep it together’ until the next event triggers the baggage to pile out?

I was left with a choice. Am I going to stay like that or am I going to allow God to use me, heal me and transform me?

And this is why the ‘in-between’ happens.

To learn.

To grow.

To gain much-needed wisdom, discernment, and knowledge to apply in the next season.

I admit I wasn’t the best learner, I still am - I’ve been impatient and demanding.

And it takes me back to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 8 – 10: ‘We are pressured in every way but not crushed, we are perplexed but not in despair, we are persecuted but not abandoned, we are struck down but not destroyed.’

And if you read the verse directly above that one it says ‘so that extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.’

We have this treasure in clay jars, but we can’t tap into that treasure if we don’t allow God to be God.

To transform.

To heal.

To deliver.

To forgive.

To restore.

By giving your life to Christ, and being willing to work with Him on your clay jar, gives you freedom, healing, and rest.

I am learning so many lessons in this ‘in-between’ time.

I have cried, and gotten angry because He first needed to strip me of the old way of seeing and doing things. And it has been tough. It hurt. It made me vulnerable. It exposed.

And I know I still have a lot to deal with.

I still have a lot of anger I need to deal with, but I know that I am not alone, and it is not through my strength, wisdom, or my own power but through God’s.

He also says in 2 Corinthians 5:17; ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away and look, new things have come.’

I am made new in Christ.

At this point in my time, the Refiner's fire has been at work, and I've been fighting against it, questioning, and crying out to God to just deliver me, to just make it all better.

But I am not there yet, and I just have to 'be still and know that He is God', He knows what and when is the right time.

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