Two summers ago, my family and I moved my mother-in-law from her home of 25 years to an apartment. Some serious downsizing took place. There were a couple of problems. My mother-in-law wasn’t inclined toward throwing much of anything away, organization wasn’t her strong suit and her memory was deteriorating. I remember getting ready to throw an old can of hairspray away (circa 1986) when she stopped me suddenly, “Don’t throw that away!” She had some jewelry stashed in the false bottom. We had to inspect every book, every knickknack before tossing to make sure that valuables weren’t hidden inside. The most ordinary of objects had potential value. It was a very long summer.
Back in Paul’s day, people hid their treasures in ordinary earthen jars and it is to these that he compares us to,
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power is from God
and not from us.”
2 Corinthians 4: 8
These verses offer incredible relief to someone who has carried the burden of perfectionism much of my life. The burden of trying to be someone extraordinary has been lifted. I want to live a life that honors the love of God showered down on me, but when it comes down to it, it isn’t me and my ability to represent God well that wins the day…it’s God’s TREASURE living within me. It’s all about the power and grace of his Holy Spirit taking up residence in this very human being. If that isn’t something to celebrate, than I don’t know what is.
“Therefore, we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
Thank you Lord, that my life is about you and your goodness to me, not about my goodness or ability. Help me to lean in and relax into you today and accept the beautiful truth that you love me enough to come live in this ordinary frame. Amen.