We Are All Clay Pots

Dec 02, 2010

The little girl was given the chore of carrying water to supply the household with water. She had to carry it from the local well almost a mile from her home, but her family was so poor, there was nothing for her to carry it with but two old cracked clay pots. So every day, she would walk to the well and fill her clay pots with the precious water for her family, and try to carefully carry it home. But on the way, the water would leak badly from the cracks in the two pots, so that when she got home, there was little left for the family…so she would have to go back to the river and refill the pots and try again and again until she filled the basin at home.

She grew so weary from this labor every day, that sometimes she’d just sit along the path and cry in her frustration. One day a man came up to her and asked why she was crying. She explained the problem of the cracked pots she couldn’t replace, and that they leaked so bad, it was as if all her work had no meaning or purpose.

The man smiled and said, “Child what do you mean, no meaning or purpose. God has blessed you with the tools you need to do his work, and you’re doing it.”

“But with every trip I lose most of the water for my family,” she sobbed.

“Yes, Child, but when you began your chore, this was a barren path you walked. Look at it now. There are flowers growing along this path bringing beauty to God’s world that was not possible until you used that which he gave you… those cracked clay pots have watered and nurtured seeds planted by other servants of God.”

God puts the unbelievable, inconceivable, unthinkable, unimaginable, implausible treasure of the Universe “the very Presence of the Almighty God of the Universe” IN US! You’d think that would make us expensive containers. Precious contents go in valuable containers – that would make perfect human sense. But no.

He places this most precious treasure in “jars of clay.” Why? So that others will see and experience the treasure of Christ rather than being impressed with us. Remember the earlier definition of clay jars? Fragile human beings who handle difficulty so differently that people are attracted to them.

What happens when a clay pot gets jostled around, bumped, passed from one person to another, or even cracked? The contents spill out. Or in the Apostle Paul’s words, what happens when a fragile human being who is filled with Christ is hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down, faces death. That person spills out the Presence of Christ on all in the area, filling the place with the aroma of Christ. What happens if it is not jostled? That treasure just sits there.

The jostling in our lives is not because God has abandoned us at all. It is because He believes in us as His treasure holders who spill His Presence.

Herb Shaffer
From Where God Sits

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