This year, there can be very few people who haven’t felt as Paul did when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 4 about the extreme pressures and trials he was under.
Paul says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” And Paul really did know about suffering.
But the bit before these verses is so important.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
God chose us, jars of clay. He knows that we are weak, damaged, faulty, but he pours his light and love into us. Our weaknesses and faults make it clear to all that any strength and beauty we have comes ultimately from God.
I was asked to paint during a worship session recently and felt God put this section of 2 Corinthians on my heart. It was important to show that every jar was different,that every jar was damaged, and that the power came from God, pouring into every one of use, and pouring out of us to bless others.
This type of painting is much more spontaneous and “rough and ready”, but I enjoy painting live, as God always steps in and brings life into a painted sketch.