We’ve heard it said that we are His vessel to be used by Him. But have we ever considered what kind of vessel we are? Webster’s Dictionary defines a vessel as a “container; a person into whom some quality is infused; or a watercraft bigger than a rowboat”. A container sounds like something that is useful to carry or transport but can be closed or covered. A watercraft has great potential, can carry quite a bit, and is easily accessible. However, a watercraft is only practical on water and limited to that purpose. I like the second definition… “a person into whom some quality is infused”. I believe that Paul in 2Corinthians 4:7 is referring to this “treasure in jars of clay” as accessible, serviceable people who are infused by the quality of His power, His love, and the light of His glorious gospel.
It’s important to understand that though we are vulnerable vessels, we carry with us such a precious gift of hope and Christ’s love. Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, oh Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” Yes, we are simple vessels, fashioned by the hands of our Father and infused with a treasured truth. And when life gets hard we need to remind ourselves of Paul’s exhortation in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 that “we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” In short, we are not easily broken and though the clay may crack, our Father, the Potter, will keep us whole by His power and grace.
My son was oiling the leather laces of his baseball glove the other night. He then went on to tighten each lace as well. He said it was time to oil and tighten which is needed every so often. Why oil and tighten you might ask? There are two reasons to oil and tighten. One reason is because if you leave your glove unconditioned long enough, the leather and laces will dry, stretch, thin and eventually break. The second reason is to be prepared to withstand the constant wear and occasional hard throws that can really pop your glove. Oil and tighten so that we can be conditioned to withstand the wear of life and occasional hard times that can really “pop” us sometimes.
Be encouraged and conditioned in this reliable truth in 2 Corinthians 12:9, when Christ says “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness”.