When the apostle Paul compared our lives to clay pots, he focused not on the earthen vessels, but rather the contents of those vessels. Jars of clay deteriorate over time, become chipped, cracked, and eventually broken. However, the real value of those ancient pots was not in the clay containers themselves, but in what they contained.
In the early 1800's a preacher gave a message to call men to join him on the mission field in Africa. In the audience were only a few women along with a boy. The pastor knew that few women were expected to volunteer to face harsh African jungle conditions. However, he gave the message; and no one responded. What he didn't realize was that he had touched the heart of a little boy whose name was David Livingstone. This boy would grow up to spend the rest of his life ministering to Africa's unreached tribes.
It was 1986, in the midst of a three year drought, when two brothers who lived in a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee made an incredible discovery. As these two fisherman monitored their equipment on the lake, they noticed something glistening in the sun covered in mud. It was a fishing boat. Upon deeper examination, archaeologists determined that these two brothers had discovered an ancient boat from the time of Yeshua (Jesus). It's was called the "Jesus boat" and is now located in a museum next to the Sea of Galilee.
Isaiah tells us that the LORD'S Arm shall rule for Him and that He is coming with reward — and a similar passage in Revelation declares that the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) is coming to reward His saints.
Some time ago, we wrote about pearl harvesting as an illustration of how the Lord takes us into His "shell" like an irritating grain of sand, and over time, covers us with His beautiful covering, forming us into polished and precious gems for his glory and delight. This image of sanctification takes the metaphor in one direction: but here is another interesting thought. The beautiful pearl inside the oyster cannot be seen or enjoyed without a great price being paid. The oyster must die. It must be torn open in order to find the treasure within. This speaks to me of the original foundation and source of our beauty. Yeshua (Jesus) our Messiah had to be bruised, afflicted, torn and killed so that the beautiful treasures God intended us to be from the beginning, could be discovered and released from the darkness of sin.