When my son left home to attend the Naval Academy, my life as Tyler’s mom changed overnight. As a Plebe, he was allowed minimal contact with us and I struggled. I decided that the Navy would not interfere with me blessing my son on his birthday. I went to Sam’s Club, bought him a birthday cake, and marched over to the UPS Store. One look from the clerk removed all confidence I had that Tyler would ever receive his cake in one piece. I realized a label reading: “Fragile: Handle with Care” would never be sufficient. Three days later, I received word that the cake arrived without a blemish and Tyler enjoyed a piece promptly after watching his superiors eat the rest.
If you have ever received an online purchase, you are acutely aware of the meticulous time and energy required to package your treasure. The perfectly molded pieces of Styrofoam that surrounded each piece of the arbor we ordered steadied each piece and prevented any breakage as it made its way to our home. Many young people earn a degree in the Science of Packaging every year to ensure that you receive your treasures unscathed.
As I prepared to write this devotion, I was reminded once again that God’s ways are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8). In 2 Corinthians 4:7, we read, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
While we choose the sturdiest box with the best bubble wrap and peanuts to protect against any rough handling, God uses the weakest container (vessel) for his Treasure and designs large bumps and potholes as part of the road home. Believer, the day God revealed to you your need of a Savior; and you invited Him into your weak heart, you received the Treasure. Within your weak body resides the Holy Spirit and the promise to deliver you safely home (2 Peter 3:13).
Why would God choose such a flimsy container for such a hard journey? Why would God entrust a vessel carried by the desires of our flesh, susceptible to temptations and attacks by an enemy, and subject to the beatings of this world? I discovered two truths. First, without our weak vessels, we would never experience the value of the Treasure we carry. When a spouse chooses to fight for their marriage instead of pursuing “happiness,” she experiences the power of her Treasure. When a businessman chooses not to compromise, he experiences divine prosperity. When an addict chooses sobriety, he experiences freedom in Christ. The humbling detours in our journey home are divinely designed to enable us to experience and appreciate all that our Treasure offers.
The second truth is found in this beautiful statement made by Warren Wiersbe, “Sometimes God permits our vessels to be jarred so that some of the treasure will spill out and enrich others.”
Our Treasure is not meant to be hidden. The strength, peace, joy, and provision we experience from a dependent walk with Christ is meant to be shared. We are called to comfort with the comfort we receive (2 Corinthians 1:3), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:1), and strengthen with the strength we receive (Proverbs 27:17). In short, it is our weakness that is the vehicle by which we experience our Treasure, the Holy Spirit, and build His Kingdom.
Last week, I received a late birthday card. It looked like it had been through a meat grinder. The short journey from the other side of Clarkston resulted in a filthy white envelope with a rip that exposed its contents. I opened it and found that though it had obviously been through a lot, the card was perfect and carried with it sweet words of love and encouragement. What a picture of our journey with Christ! Though the road is rough and our vessel is weak, the Postmaster promises to bring us home. We will arrive perfectly in Christ and our homecoming will be in His perfect time.
Our shipping label reads: “Fragile: In His (All-sufficient) Care”