If I had a treasure, I’d put it in a really cool treasure chest. The chest would be covered in intricate designs, and would be made of the fanciest, sturdiest of woods, like African Blackwood or some such thing. I’d also have splendid gold handles on this treasure chest because no one wants to dolly around their treasure. Treasure was made to be lifted and hoisted, just ask any old pirate.
My chest would befit the treasure within—only the best for my best.
The Bible tells us God chooses to put His treasure inside people. And it doesn’t even say fancy, deserving people. It doesn’t say the best, most successful people. In fact, the container is likened to a clay jar. Clay jars are common, drab, inexpensive; clay jars are ordinary.
Yet that is whom God chooses to use.
Abraham was a regular guy, and God made a monumental covenant with him.
Moses was a stuttering fool with a dubious past, and God used him to free the Israelites.
David was the runt of the litter, and God chose him to be a great warrior king.
Jonah was a selfish coward, and God used him to bring change to a metropolis.
Esther used her looks to get by, and God used her to save a people from genocide.
Mary was a simple girl, and God used her to mother Jesus.
Matthew was a crook; Peter, a loudmouth; Thomas, fickle; Nathanael, a smart aleck; Thomas, a doubter. Yet God called these men for His purposes.
Paul was a hateful murderer, and God used him to shape the faith.
We are all jars of clay. We all have our cracks.
But it is not our condition that matters. What matters is the treasure contained in us. An ornate treasure chest, if empty, is far less valuable than the most common clay jar brimming with treasure.
So what are you filled and being filled with this week? What is inside of you, shining forth?
How are you, in all your beautiful ordinariness, being used?
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. II Corinthians 4:7-9