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  • Writer's pictureLara

Jars Of Clay

I’m going to start this blog as I’ve started several others: I was driving around today listening to UCB Radio... and a Jemimah Paine song came on called Use Me. The lyrics really spoke to me and I wanted to share my thoughts with you in case they resonated with you too. These are the words of the chorus:

Would You use me,

If this is all I had to bring?

Could You use me,

Knowing everything about me?

I fail sometimes,

I might do it again.

Can You still

Use someone like me?

I love the vulnerableness of the song. Jemimah describes her faults and failures with humility and wonders if God can still use her anyway. I found myself praying, "God use me despite my own lacking; use me even though I forget to pray, fail to seek Your will and fall short of my own mark let alone yours"

It was a revelation that God would still use me even though I wasn’t where I should be on my walk with Him but I found comfort in the idea. It should have been obvious, but sometimes I can be a little dense! The Bible tells us that it’s in our weaknesses that God’s power is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9). We are jars of clay that contain His light: the Gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 4: 6-7). The thing is, clay jars are not overly robust.

I once made some clay jars for a demonstration at church. One had cracks and the other did not. I shone a torch down the neck of the perfect clay jar and, of course, the light could no longer be seen. When I did the same to the cracked jar, the light shone through the cracks and the plain (and seemingly useless) jar become something beautiful.

That’s another thing about clay jars, they are functional and serve a purpose but they are not things of great beauty. It is the light that shone through the cracks that made my demonstration jar beautiful. And so it is with us. We should not be trying to present ourselves as perfect and polished because God is not glorified through whatever level of perfection we are striving to achieve or present to others. Rather, the light of God shines out from us when we serve His purpose with humility.

So why wouldn’t God use us when we feel useless? That is the time when His strength and power are emphasised; when we cannot take any glory for His work because it is obvious we had no hand in it.

I think of Jesus, born to a young girl of no standing who was from a town that no one had anything good to say about. God chose the humblest of settings to display the glory of His Son. That son’s ministry, which spoke to the sinners of the day, in the dusty countryside of an occupied territory, with a rag-tag group of disciples, revealed the glory of His Word. That same son’s death, in the ugliest of ways, demonstrated the greatness of His love and the glory of His salvation.

God uses the plain and lowly, the downtrodden and tired, the struggling and the sick so that we see His glory, not our own.

Even so, while I am grateful that God can and will still use me when I’m not where I should be in my walk with Him, I know that is not an excuse to stay in my struggles. As we heard the other week in my own church, God does not want us to stay in our cave. When Elijah hid in his, God said to him, “What are you doing here?” (1 Kings 19: 9). God met Elijah IN the cave, but called him OUT of it.

These are the last two lines of Jemimah Pain’s song:

I wrote this song to You as a prayer,

I’m singing it so You can meet me here.

When we feel far from God; when we think we’ve strayed off His path; when we feel weak and useless, we can still ask God to meet us where we are. He will probably ask “What are you doing here?” and call us out into the light, but in our request for Him to meet us where we are, we are acknowledging His sovereignty, asking for His help and offering ourselves to be used in the place we are at, even if that’s a place of weakness, and God can work with that.

Ask God to use you today, no matter where you are.


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1 Comment

Pastor Rich
Pastor Rich
Nov 26, 2021

Great Blog Lara. Love the thought that light shines through us because of the cracks not because we are perfect but because He is and that is why He uses us.

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