December 4, 2005

My next MRI is scheduled for Thursday, December 9. The purpose is to see if my current chemotherapy is having the desired effect. My hope is that it will reveal that God has done His miracle and there is no tumor or cancer to be found. If it is necessary for chemotherapy to continue, I pray that the current treatment will be sufficient because I take my pills from home and my body tolerates them very well. Please pray that the MRI would be show encouraging information and that the healing has taken place.

My body, and yours, is made from the dust of the earth. As a matter of fact, scientifically speaking, the chemical composition of the human body is not much different from a lump of coal. How’s that for building self-esteem?

The Bible calls the body a jar of clay. God is the potter, and he forms us and shapes us as he sees fit. He has treasure with which he wants to fill us, and our jars are designed uniquely to hold the treasure he has for us and to dispense it to others as the opportunity comes. What is the treasure? It is the good news of hope that comes from Jesus. It’s the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus was born as a baby to live a human life, die on the cross for our sins, come back to life after three days, and go back to heaven to prepare an eternal home for all who accept his sacrifice for our sins. This is truly the greatest treasure ever. Not only does it impact our eternity, but also our temporary time here on earth. For those who accept Jesus and take hold of his promise of eternity in Heaven, earthly priorities change forever. Many things that seemed to matter so much before now fade into the background. We begin to realize the value of the treasure we hold and it impacts the way we live: the decisions we make, the way we spend our time, the way we treat others, and the way we think of and relate to God. We focus much less on our earthly existence and much more on the treasure within us. If the treasure is so valuable, others must know about it and have a chance to share it!

2 Corinthians 4:7 says that “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” Sometimes God needs to reshape and remake our jar in order to hold more treasure or to prepare us for a different function than we are currently serving. It is a painful process and requires brokenness. We are not self-made, and the jar is not the treasure. Now matter what we do to make our jars look nice or make them unique according to our desires, the real purpose of the jar is to hold God’s treasure. It can be extremely frustrating after all of our efforts to have God “ruin” our work and start all over again. It is very uncomfortable. “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He did not make me’? Can the pot say of the potter, ‘He knows nothing’?” Isaiah 29:16.

Here are some of my thoughts about the way this has played out in my life lately. My body is but a jar of clay. Through this disease I’ve notice that my jar seems to have become cracked. The treasure that God has poured into me is leaking out. My instinct has been to try to patch the jar and keep as much of the treasure to myself as possible. I love the precious treasure and desire to preserve it within myself for my own personal enjoyment, pleasure, and comfort. (As if God’s supply was limited!) As I look around beneath my jar and see the treasure dripping from my brokenness, I’m noticing that the treasure is not soaking into the ground to be wasted. Each drop is being transformed into a precious jewel. Again, this treasure is from God, and has nothing to do with my jar. But what I’ve realized is that it is more difficult for others to see the treasure while it is still in my jar. They notice the jewels much more easily and are drawn to their beauty. These jewels are being gathered up by those around me who are seeking treasure. Some pick them up knowing exactly what these jewels are-the power of Jesus Christ. Others are curious, attracted by the sheer beauty of the treasure. They grab them up and examine them, not exactly knowing what to do with them or where to keep them. Some who know what they are and realize their value give some of them away to the spiritually impoverished to make them rich, too.

As I pray that the potter will repair my brokenness, He continues to pour Himself into me. I stand by watching and crying out, “It’s leaking out everywhere! You’re wasting the treasure!”

Then He picks up my head and says, “Look through my eyes and you’ll see a picture quite different than your eyes are allowing you to see. This treasure is meant to be shared. Look at how many are gathering the jewels that come from your brokenness. I made you from clay on purpose. You were supposed to be broken, just as I was broken for you on the cross. Trust me on this one, and you will be blessed in a far greater measure than you would be by holding the treasure inside. Your jar is too small to contain what I want to give you. Yes, you will enjoy the privileges and pleasures of what is now inside of you, but far more is in store for you. You will see some of it here on earth, but much is being stored up for you in heaven. The treasure is being multiplied, and I’m excited to show it to you someday. Trust me-you’ll be glad you’ve been broken when you fully see the results. So stop trying to put your band-aids on. They’re keeping you from sharing the treasure, and they aren’t really working anyway. And stop trying to pick up what is leaking out and putting it back in your jar. Those jewels are meant for someone else. I’ll keep refilling you; don’t worry. If someone comes along and chooses a jewel too large or heavy, help them pick it up. Some people need help being able to receive the gift I’ve intended for them. Explain to them what they’ve just received and teach them how to carry and share it with others. Remember, you aren’t guarding, protecting, or hoarding the treasure. It is meant to be shared and is free to all who want to share it. I have an unlimited supply. If the jewels seem to be disappearing too quickly, I’ll give you more. I hope you can see that your brokenness is accomplishing more for me than when your jar was intact. This is the best way for me to fulfill my purpose for you and for many around you. I’ve done this to you because I love you. My desire is to bless you beyond what your jar can contain, even beyond what this entire world of clay can contain. Stay with me on this one and marvel at what I am doing through you. Don’t forget: I am the treasure, you are the clay.”

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 13:44-45 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it he hid it again, and in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 Be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. In this way you will lay up treasure yourselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that you may take hold of the life that is truly life.



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