After over five decades of living, nobody has to tell me that I am imperfect — that fact is glaringly obvious! In fact, I am far too aware of my own inability to change myself and of my fallible humanity. I have noticed, however, that our “progressive” American culture seems to work overtime to keep us focused on the state of our earthen vessels. We can never be thin enough, muscular enough, smart enough, talented enough, fashionable enough, cool enough, articulate enough, or beautiful enough to meet the ever-rising standard of the public image of perfection. The bar is continually shifted, if not raised. Suddenly, my workout plan is not the newest, my clothes are not the latest, and my speech not the hippest. My inadequacies are most evident to ME. I am painfully aware of them.
It is my conviction that, as believers, we should instead concentrate more on the nature of the TREASURE we carry than on the brokenness of our vessels! Yes, I have this treasure in an earthen vessel, but I have this TREASURE! The power of God literally lives in me by His Spirit! God Himself has breathed His very own life into me. His living water flows in and through me. At times I think I have been so preoccupied with myself, my vessel, that I have failed to recognized His very Presence in me, which is powerful, glorious, and mighty! Because of Christ in me, I may be hard-pressed on every side, but I am not crushed. Because of Him, I may be perplexed, but I am not in despair. I may endure persecution, but I will never be forsaken. I may even be struck down, but I will not be destroyed, because I always carry about “in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested” in my body (2 Corinthians 4:8-11). Father, forgive me for focusing on my own cracks and imperfections and forgetting that You not only live in me, but are able to flow gloriously through those cracks by Your Life and Presence in me! Breathe on me afresh, Lord, and have your way in and through me! (John 7:38)