Thursday, August 25, 2016

Divine treasure in the frail and earthen vessels

I have been thinking of the word ostrakinos (στράκινος, made of clay, earthen) which is used metaphorically in 2 Cor 4:7 of the frail human body of believers. 

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor.4:7, KJV)

Some recent incidents made me realize keenly how frail and weak I am as a woman and as a foreigner in this strange land. At the same time, I have been comforted by sharing the depths of our hearts with my fellow headcovering sisters who have been inseparable parts of my life already. I had never expected that one day I would be able to share or confess my bare shortcomings, foolish & nasty sins, joys and sorrows with other human beings so freely and without hesitation like I have been doing with you. 

Regardless of the differences such as our nationalities, ethnicity, family condition (single, married, with/without children), aren't we so painfully and wonderfully similar that we contain the divine treasure in the frail earthen vessels? 

Yes, we all share the same basis, we all accept creation order and biblical womanhood heartily and want to be submissive daughters/wives. But alas, how often we fail,,,and that miserably! Often times, I am tempted to doubt if there has been any progress in my spiritual journey after all and that our evangelical efforts and seed planting would bear any lasting fruits. However, the above verse does not end with the "earthen vessels." It further explains why we have divine treasure in earthen vessels;

[so that] the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

The Amplified Bible explains like this;

,,that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.

O my dear sisters, let us not be discouraged. When you fail, He will rise you up again and we all come to hold you in our arms! Our journey continues so do our friendship and mutual bonds!


Anonymous said...

Those who are in Christ are co-workers of God's kingdom,I think.We may stay in this world which often make us feel that we cannot fit in now,but we already were given most precious treasure(Faith in Him,encounter with God) which we have to find while we live.

God bless you,and all our dear headcovering sisters who are under trials.


Kinuko H said...

Dear Sanae, thank you so much for your encouraging message! Yes, you are right, we have been given the most precious treasure already! I also pray for His divine help for our sisters who are under trials and hardships. with love, Kinuko

Jessica R said...

Dear Kinuko,
What a wonderful reminder! I really needed to remember that God's power is living in me, an earthen vessel, and that I can be successful through Him. I feel at times defeated, discouraged, and disappointed; but posts like this one help me to keep on hoping!
Thank you,

Kinuko H said...

Dear Jessica,

First of all, let me just say that I love you so much in Christ (something inside me urged me to say this today!) Second, I am so grateful that we can support each other, pray and grow together.

Some months ago, you wrote about the verse from the II Corinthians 5:7, "For we walk by faith, not by sight."(KJV) I realized that NIV translates the Greek verb Peripataw (which means "walk") : "to live (by faith)". However, I believe that there must be a deep meaning why Paul used the word Peripataw (=walk) instead of Zo(=live) when he refers to the life of faith. To me, Peripataw signifies our spiritual and earthly journey, ,,step by step. And I am very very happy that He allowed me to walk this faith journey with you, Jessica!

Jessica R said...

I was very intrigued by that explanation of the Greek words, Kinuko! Yes, to "walk" does seem distinct from the notion of just "living." A picture of our journey, step by step, as you say, seems the perfect analogy.

Yes, I read this post several days ago, but haven't commented until now. Your words to me have meant a lot! They came right after I told someone I know that as far as face-to-face relationships go, I have no friends, only my husband. Your comment was like God was showing me that I need to see His provision for me in other places! And yes, I do appreciate your friendship very, very much! It would just be so much nicer if we could actually sit down together in my living room, or yours, to talk in person.

Kinuko H said...

Dear sweet, lovely, cheerful, smart, funny, logical and kind Jessica,

Thank you so much for your comment. Jessica, I do believe that our headcovering sisters' community is a gift from God. To me, my "local" area and "neighbor" is more like Arizona, NY, Kansai (Japan), Missi. Canada, France,,,where our beloved ones live than the actual, geographical area where I live. So, we shall keep close to each other and "peripataw" our journey together! Jessica, you are my precious friend. with love, Kinuko