I picked this picture (above) and this scripture (below) to represent me in this moment. I don’t ever want to misrepresent myself or my struggles. I am a rollercoaster type. One minute full of excitement, enthusiasm, and inspiration, and the next minute full of doubt, despair, and depression. I absolutely love the top of the ride. I have enormous faith and could tackle anything. But once I’m down at the bottom, the climb to the top seems too hard to tackle.
The sunset picture is full of light and color, but also full of darkness and shadow. It’s what makes it so beautiful. Without the presence of the light there would be no contrast, no color. There would only be darkness. That would be my life were I not to believe in God.
I picked this except from 2 Corinthians because I was feeling beaten down today. I had another idea already started for this blog, but it felt like I was inflating myself and my understanding of scripture. I wasn’t spending the time I needed listening to the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t being led as much as I was leading.
When I searched for this passage about the troubles Paul faced in his ministry, I was excited to see the part about how we are fragile clay jars. I was excited to be reminded that with cracks and all, God fills us with his glory.
I even discovered a new scripture in there that very much represents my calling. “But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, ‘I believed in God, so I spoke.’”
But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.2 Corinthians 3:16-4:2,7-8,13,18 (NLT)
Look at the picture again. Do you see yourself in there? Read the scripture again. Does it resonate with who you are? If so, you are in the right place. We are kindred spirits. We can face the ups and downs together with God’s help.
If you are down today, I pray you will see the beauty in who you are and know God will comfort others through your struggles.