Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, 16-18
We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Did you know that you can stand on a tray of eggs and not break them? It is all to do with your feet spreading of your weight over a number of eggs, and the amazing resilience of the arched structure of the eggs.
We tend to think of eggs as quite fragile, but in fact they are strong and difficult to break by squeezing them. It takes a sharp force in a small area to break them. A hen can sit on them without damaging them, protecting the life within, but a tiny chick can peck its way out.
As St Paul discovered, life can often put us under pressure or cause us to be perplexed and there are times we can feel challenged by others or even wounded by their actions. In these times, if we look to God, we will not be crushed or in despair, we will not be abandoned or destroyed for, as Christians, our strength comes not from ourselves but from God, so let us not lose heart.
During the difficult times God is at work in us, teaching us to trust in him, to pray for those who hurt us, and to be grateful for the many blessings he has already given us. We often only see our circumstances ‘up, close and personal’, but God sees everything from the perspective of eternity and of the glory to come, a glory that will far outweigh all the troubles we face today. So, let us ‘fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’
And let us not forget that, ultimately it is the treasure in the jars or the life within the shell that is important, not the jars or the eggshells themselves. Like clay jars containing treasure, or eggs containing the potential of life, as Christians we have the life of Jesus within us and ultimately that is what matters.
Thank you, Lord, that there is nothing in life that we cannot face together.
Renew me, day by day, that your life may be revealed in my life.
The Lord’s my Shepherd – and I will trust