“I beseech Christ for this one thing only, that He will enable me to endure all things courageously, and that He break me as a potter’s vessel or make me strong, as it pleases Him.” (Huldrych Zwingli, 1484-1531)
Able to honor the Lord when your times call for courage and endurance. Able to lay yourself in His arms, so that whether broken or made stronger, you want only what He knows is best. Zwingli wanted to live with God’s visual to Jeremiah at the forefront of his life:
“… I went down to the potter’s house,
and there he was working at his wheel.
And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand,
and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do…
‘Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand’…” (Jeremiah 18: 3-4,6)
On days when courage isn’t at the forefront of my emotions and my fragility screams at me and my broken cracks loom large, I don’t have to lose heart. I can remember that my burdens dull in comparison with the soon-coming eternal weight of glory. I can still (not in my own strength or hunkered-down self-will) radiate the light of the knowledge of God through Jesus Christ, shining as a tired little pot, yes, but shining as a fragile jar who gladly knows the cracks are necessary:
“…we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us…So we do not lose heart…For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:7, 16-18)
For in worn fragility we come to understand this wondrous truth: We’re not meant to shine in our own power, but Jesus’ light shines out through each purposefully-given crack. And, as our outer self wastes away one crack at a time, we’re able to proclaim this glorious reality:
Any surpassing worth belongs not to me, but to God alone: And that’s the grandest purpose any clay vessel could ask for.