By Brooke Ellen Frick
“For God said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’…But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us…” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)
Friends, I am gonna be honest here and hope you keep reading. I feel like the least likely candidate to be writing a devotional.
Me. The little stay-at-home mom whose kids wear the same socks day after day, and whose van is full of crunched cheerios and soggy fries. The mom who loses her cool around bedtime and forgets to read her Bible. Me? Devotional?
I thought only super holy people wrote those. People who have it all figured out. They are the ones who write about Jesus. People who sit for hours and hours at His feet, listening, praying, reading their Bibles day and night. They are the devotional writers. Not regular people like me.
I love my Jesus, I do. But sometimes I am so lousy at showing it. At doing it. And I can think of women I know who seem a lot more qualified than me to be writing this.
Yet here I am, sitting in a drafty coffee shop at a teetering table with cold ankles using my few kid-free hours to write a devotional. Why?
Because I need Jesus, and God must like that.
Because one thing the Bible continually teaches me is that God loves to use the weak things of this world to bring Himself glory. Because when we are weak, He is strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Because our treasure – Jesus – lives in simple jars of clay, like us, to show that this glory is not our own (2 Cor. 5:6-7).
Because perfection or righteousness is not a prerequisite for God’s love to shine through us. This is great news for humanity, because if that is the case, everybody qualifies to be loved and used by God.
So I sit here and write, not because I am holy, but because He is. And when you say “yes” to God, He does some pretty crazy things.
The only reason, I am writing today is because I let go of my fears and feelings of inadequacy and decided to follow where Jesus was leading me in faith and obedience. I finally believed Him more than my fears. And I knew that God had put desires and gifts in my heart He wanted me to unwrap, to feel, and to use.
I’m writing a devotional because God is good and so, so gracious. Because as far as the East is from the West, He has removed my selfishness, my negative thoughts, my lack of discipline, and my feelings of inadequacy from me. (Psalm 103:12.)
For too long I have let me fears and my shortcomings speaker louder than Jesus. My fear of the hard things that come with stepping out in faith. The fear of what others may think. The fear of negative feedback. The fear of the trials I might undergo as a result of following Him.
I am also keenly aware of my shortcomings. How I struggle to find time alone with God, how I sometimes choose sleep or Netflix over reading my Bible. How I yell at my kids, or squash their joy and feel the sting of guilt later.
I know these things about myself, and for too long I have let them speak louder than the truth. The truth that I am wholly and dearly loved, in the midst of it all. The truth that He still wants me as His daughter, and calls me to share His glory, knowing full well I don’t have it all figured out.
The truth the Bible tells me is that I am not supposed to be a crystal vase, but instead a jar of clay; an ordinary, commonplace, functional jar filled with a glory that isn’t my own.
So friend, don’t let your jar of clay keep you from feeling you can’t shine the light of Jesus. Don’t let your fears or your shortcomings speak louder than Jesus. He loves all of you. He wants all of you. And all He requires is that you trust Him and follow His lead.
I am trying to lean into the lessons God is teaching me. And one is this: God loves using ordinary people to shine His glory.
So maybe, after all, I am a fitting person to be writing a devotional for moms, because my failings will point you to Jesus and not to me. Because maybe all God really wants of me is to be available, not perfect. Maybe He desires my obedience over my righteousness. Maybe God wants same from you.
So friends, you don’t have to be perfect to be used by God and raise your children. Not even close, because it’s not even possible. You are a jar of clay. A beautiful, ordinary jar of clay, filled with an extraordinary treasure that is not our own. And He wants to use you right where you are.