Jars. Empty jars of clay. Even though these have nothing in them, as a cluster, they have an artistic beauty all their own. I love pottery. I love the hand-turned, hand-fashioned kind that assembly lines cannot individualize. I love the uniqueness of a potter’s fingerprints inside a glazed piece where its maker has picked it up and placed it inside a kiln for firing. To some, this is imperfection. To me, it is personal–it is love. I enjoy looking at the handiwork of others. I imagine what they may have been thinking when they formed its shape, smoothed on its handles, pulled it, turned it, and gave it color. Sometimes we know it is a water jug, a medicine bottle, a vase. But, for the most part, a creator’s thoughts remain a mystery.
Similarly, we are each made and formed in the mind of God before we are born. Our parents have no idea what we will become, even though they may try to shape us to follow a certain path. Educators seek to fill our minds with facts and knowledge. “Jars of clay”–that’s what we are. We often struggle with our purpose, and sometimes get confused with our ability and competence. Yet, God is never confused.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
Without God, we serve the purpose of man. Aesthetic pleasure, possibly. With God, we serve the purpose of our Creator. Just as each pottery piece has a purpose–without filling them and using them, they remain lifeless. Grace them with daisy bouquets, violets and snapdragons, and suddenly, they spring to life. With aromatic hyacinths, roses, and white lilacs, they pour forth a fragrance man cannot equal. Chemicals used to duplicate the fragrance of a rose is pungent and artificial–it falls so far short of the Creator’s glory. All the things of man we drink to live out our aims are so vain and empty without the Living Water and bouquets of grace. Any benefit we have or produce is a direct result of His all-surpassing power within us.
Ever think that what you do and say could be so significant to your Creator? Christians are jars of clay, filled with the Treasure of God. May we pour out the Treasure and bless the world with His fragrance and petals of love.