When I was a young man, I felt like the future was an expanse of forever, laden with endless opportunities, and fueled by youthful endurance that was unstoppable. Too bad, I was also stupid! Some of my mistakes took me back three steps for the one I had made forward. Sound familiar?
Youthful vitality is often wasted foolishly. How many times have you heard the expression, “If I could go back, I would…”? I’m not sure if we would have saved our money and invested in Google? Or if we had stayed with the best job we ever had. Many folks might ponder if they would have refused the first drag of a cigarette or that first deep inhalation of a joint.
With the same set of circumstances, I’m not sure if most of us would not have done many of the same things. Do you remember some of the ole timers’ advice we scoffed at? Think of all the crazy things we do even now over and over, thinking we will get a different result. Hindsight is always 20/20 but in the moment of the past we did not have the luxury of years of experience.
The Apostle Paul said that we “have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor 4:7 NKJV). The eternal life of God dwells in a body that is headed back to dust. In this earthen vessel is the gift of God. Those who are Christ followers know that our inner spirit has been born again and now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, is a most precious treasure indeed. The gifts of the Spirit have been given to us, to empower the fulfillment of God’s purpose through our lives for His Kingdom.
Picture an earthen jug filled with precious and expensive liquid given to us by God. We just need to make sure we don’t spring a leak before the journey’s ended. We are a bunch of “crack[ed] pots”. The Lord has put some of His Gorilla glue on us more than a few times to keep the treasure from emptying on the ground.
The cracks He has sealed with His supernatural glue are stronger than the rest of our vessel. Our vessels are aging and getting brittle with time yet the treasure inside remains vibrant and eternal. Hopefully, we are a wiser than in our youthful past and more conscious of the ticking of the clock. There still remains a need for our treasure though the vessel looks a little brittle.
In a schoolyard-pick, we might not even be chosen at all from the looks of our well-worn vessel. Be certain, we have a treasure that we did not earn or create, it is a treasure given by and from God. Our job is not to memorialize it, to save it for posterity, or to market its hidden formula, but to simply pour it out with wisdom and kindness for God’s purpose.
When this life closes and eternity begins, the question will not be about our vessels of how they were arrayed, sparkled, or shined. The question by God, the Giver of All Good Gifts, will be asked about the treasure He filled to overflowing when we believed upon His Son. Did it leak from our brokenness, or did we pour it as healing balm on the broken, bruised, and lost?
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NKJV
(7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
(8) We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
(9) persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
(10) always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.