Fasting Day 7: Treasure in a Clay Jar- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

Treasure in a Clay Jar

Treasure in a Clay Jar

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From Natalie: This is a guest post by Hannah Dillon. Hannah wrote this article when she was a missionary in Ghana with Every Child Ministries. You can follow her on Facebook.

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I’ve learned that if Ghanaians have something of value or something that is really important to them, they hide it in a place that a thief would never think of looking. They do not hide their valued possession in a nice box or in a pretty jar, but they hide it in something that won’t draw attention.

Sometimes they hide them in clay jars that are typically used to put water in for the “bathroom” or for cooking and cleaning. These jars are narrow in the top, so you cannot fit your hand down into them. They are also dark on the inside so you cannot see inside.

It’s pretty brilliant actually, and is apparently a very successful way of protecting your valuables. However, I learned that if they ever want to have access to their valuables, they have to break the pot. They have to smash the pot open and destroy it, in order to retrieve their treasure.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned that any time I get selfish or lose sight of the Lord, I mess things up. Sometimes I get so discouraged because I want to see instant progress and visible results in the women’s lives, so I begin focusing on ways I can bring about progress. In doing that, I lose sight of the fact that the Lord is the only One who can change a heart and a life and I try to assume that position. Of course, I end up getting more discouraged and frustrated. And then the Lord reveals my sin to me.

So often I lose sight of the goal, of the treasure that is within me. My goal is not success. My goal is not receiving spiritual blessings. My goal is not physical things that will perish. My goal is Him. And Him alone. Sometimes I find myself focusing on the things that are in His hand—like success with the women, peace, blessing, etc.—that I forget to keep my eyes on His face. I’m so focused on what He will do next, or what He has for me next, or what He did yesterday that I stop running after my true goal.

It’s Him. Him. That’s all I need. Please help it to be all I want … I just get in the way too often. But when I do, He begins to break me. His glory will be shown.

Christ dwells within me, and in order for His glory to be shown in me, I have to be broken. He has to break me (like the Ghanaian break their clay pots) so He can be shown. Thankfully, he can use a dirty clay pot like me. In fact, I believe He prefers to use the weak things of this world for His glory.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body”
(2 Corinthians 4:7-10).

He can use all the circumstances around us for our sanctification and His glory. The trials, the pains, the hard times will completely surround us, but we will not be crushed by them. He will break us to reveal Himself inside of us. The death of our sinful self shows the Life that is within us.

I read a section of a prayer that Blaise Pascal wrote while he was enduring an incredibly difficult trial in his life, and it really hit home:

“Take from me, O Lord, that self-pity which love of myself so readily produces, and from that frustration of not succeeding in the world as I would naturally desire, for these have no regard for your glory… Let me no longer wish for health or life, but to spend it and end it for You, with You, and in You… Rather I pray that You will dispose of my health, my sickness, my life, and my death as for Your glory, for my salvation, for the usefulness of Your church and Your saints…You are the Sovereign Master. Do whatever pleases You. Give me or take away from me. Conform my will to Yours….” — Blaise Pascal [1]

It’s all about Him and His glory.

Please Lord, help me. Break me for Your glory. I need You.

Worship: “Alabastar Jar

Chorus Lyrics:
Here I am, take me
As an offering
Here I am giving
Every heartbeat for your glory
Take me

Alabastar Jar by Gateway Worship
Led by Walker Beach & Kari Jobe
From the CD: Wake Up The World

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

Prayer Focus: As you think of the coming year, what are your goals? Success… income…blessing…things from God’s hand? Or is your chief goal to see His face? Lord, may You be the only thing I want. Take me, use me, and yes, even break me for your glory.




  1.  Blaise Pascal, The Mind on Fire: A Faith for the Skeptical and Indifferent


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