Earthen Vessels

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Clay jars. In biblical times, they were prevalent because they were made from the most essential and readily available material—the earth.  The potter takes the clay, shapes it, and molds it into a new creation. It is never the clay that decides what it will be, nor can it turn itself into a masterpiece. The potter kneads, forms, and shapes the clay into a unique vessel.

Although refined by fire, the durability of clay jars is deceiving. The thick porcelain is more delicate than it appears;  just one nudge on the table where it resides could plummet the pot to the ground. Like these jars, we, too, can be bumped by life, fall to the ground, and shatter into pieces.

How amazing it is that God would place his greatest treasure, his Spirit, inside of something so frail and weak!

The most significant purpose of the label of an earthen vessel is to show that the surpassing power and glory belong to God and not us. You see, my friends, it is easy to focus on the vessel’s simplicity and lack of beauty and uniqueness, but that is not the point of the metaphor.

If we were beautiful, perfect, and unbreakable, then others would focus on that and not the treasure of the Holy Spirit that resides within. This is what Paul means in our verse for today, and this is where our hope comes from. The Bible tells us that God focuses not on the outside but on what is within. It is all about the heart.

Mamas, one of the reasons that God chooses us is because we are jars of clay. The power of Jesus that ransomed him from the shackles of the grave is the treasure that we hold in these vessels— created from the soil of Eden and filled with the breath of this same Spirit.

Maybe you are going through a situation in which you feel weak and damaged, as if a tiny nudge could send you toppling to the ground. Remember that you were created in fragility so God’s power could be perfect in your weakness.

Blessings, fellow jars of clay,

Susie and the Help Club for Moms Team

For more information about Susie and her ministry, Between the Gardens, visit her website at

Susie O'Neal
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3 Comments on “Earthen Vessels”

  1. Hi, I love this photo of the treasure of jars in clay. Can you tell me where to get the original please as I would love to use it for our end of year Women’s Christmas event. Appreciate your assistance.


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