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The Treasure Within You

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

When I was pregnant with my fourth child, I started having trouble breathing. I told my doctor that my old inhaler, the one I almost never needed to use, wasn't helping. But after getting some prescriptions for stronger medications, I left her office that day hopeful that I would soon find relief.

Unfortunately, my breath didn't come back until the moment my daughter was born. For the nine months I carried her, I took more and stronger asthma drugs than I ever had before. When I asked my doctor whether these medications would harm my baby, she only shrugged and said, "You have to breathe."

My daughter is three now and is still the baby in our family. She is happiness personified, and I have not had to use any asthma drugs--not even my inhaler--since she was born.

Through all those breathless days and weeks, I could not imagine the sweet, joyful life taking shape within me. The body that carried her was weak and weary. She was a treasure placed within a jar of clay.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes that we have seen the glory of God in the face of Christ and this knowledge is like a light in our hearts. This is the gospel, and it is a treasure we carry around in the fragile clay jar of our flesh.

I cannot draw a neat line of causation between the suffering of my pregnancy and the delight of the child to come, but sometimes I am tempted to do just this. I am tempted because this is how it often works in the kingdom of heaven.

Death gives way to life--not someday, but every day. "Therefore we do not lose heart ... for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:

In what ways is your own body a jar of clay? How might the resurrection life of Jesus be revealed in these hardships and weaknesses?

PRAYER:

Abba, Father, I am hard-pressed on every side. Renew me by the power of your glorious life. Fix my eyes on all that is unseen and eternal. Amen.

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