Last time I wrote to you, I had mentioned I would write a “blog extension” to finish our thoughts surrounding the idea that we are jars of clay filled with a treasure. To refresh your memory, our church staff had a devotion based on 2 Corinthians 4:7-12. The question I had was, “Will that jar (our body) where that treasure is held break during all of this pandemic stress?” To help prevent the pressures we get from the outside world from crushing our clay jar we discovered we need to fill the inside of the jar with the treasure that is the Passion Story. However, if you meditate on the topic of how can we, the clay jar, be strengthened so we can stand against the stress of the world, we will find the Scriptures are rich with ways to strengthen us so we can stand up under the pressure.
My wife loves working with ceramics. Anyone who has worked with ceramics knows the fragile, delicate state “green” ceramics are in. They crack and break very easily. The “green” ceramics are put in a kiln which adds immense heat to purify the clay and strengthen the bonds of the clay at the molecular level. The result is the firing process makes the ceramics extremely strong.
In my engineering studies, I really enjoyed studying what they call Material Science. I remember our studies on molecular bond strengthening that can be done to increase the strength of ceramics and other materials. The strengthening methods used are adding measured heat, chemical and mechanical means. If you’ve ever been amazed at how strong Corel dishes are, you would know the results of this engineering.
So, if we are looking at our strengthening to face the pressures of the world especially this pandemic, we must look at the common thread of the previous examples…some kind of transformation process that produces a stronger jar of clay and that common thread is heat. I believe James describes such a transformational process when he writes in James 1:2-3, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” I see the trials that are pressing in on the outside of the jar of clay as the heat that transforms the “green” clay into strong, durable ceramic which allows us to stand under the pressure without cracking or breaking. When we are strengthened to stand up under these worldly pressures, the result is our faith remains. The worldly pressures such as politics, financial, health (COVID19), war, etc., will not crack or break us. Peter gives us encouragement to stand up under these pressures when he states in 2 Peter 2:9, “…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials.”
The conclusion then is when we all face trials associated with this virus attack on the world, don’t cave-in to world influence especially all the man-made media hype. I imagine this hype is influenced by the Devil himself. I see him putting his fingers in the caldron of hysteria, stirring it with an evil smile on his face. Instead, with joy, repel his attack by facing the trial head-on knowing the Lord will rescue us completely. When we do, our clay jar will not crack or break!
Stay strong my brothers and sisters! Dave