“Is a jar of clay still valuable if it has a tarnish on it?”
I found myself texting that question to my dear friend Lady J this morning. Often times, when we make mistakes or suffer hardships, it can be easy to forget that we still have a purpose. That we are indeed valuable.
This year has been quite difficult for me and I find myself and my faith being challenged and stretched. It has been quite easy at times (sadly) to find myself doubting myself and the path I feel God is guiding me on. I have made huge mistakes, ended relationships, and now currently find myself about to be laid off from my job on Thursday. Outwardly, I can say that I have not tried to speak negatively about the things that are going on in my life and have spoken positively to myself and others. Inwardly and in my private time, I have cried and clung more tightly to Jesus and have tried to understand why things are becoming a deja vu moment from last year. I have questioned my value and my purpose and that is what prompted me to send that text to Lady J this morning.
However, before she responded with her uplifting text, God quietly spoke to me while I was going through the motions of getting myself ready for work.
“Shanta, think about a sweaty, ripped t-shirt that could have been tossed from a concert stage by a famous musician into the audience. The fans would fight over that sweaty shirt and it might end up on E-bay. It’s value comes from the owner.” I felt like I had one of those AH-HA moments that Oprah talks about from time to time…lol. Why do I let my career/job, what other’s think, etc hold so much importance? That does not determine my worth. My worth is determined by my maker—God. No matter how bad I mess up, no matter what job I have (or don’t), I will always be priceless because I am God’s child.
I am also reminded of my value when I reflect on the lives of Nick Vujicic and Joni Eareckson Tada. I highly recommend you google them and watch some of their YouTube videos and read some of their books if you never heard of them. Nick was born without no arms or legs and Joni had an accident at 17 that left her a quadriplegic. Both are doing wonderful works in the name of God despite their limitations. They both teach about God’s purpose and not letting limitations or mistakes stop you from being the person God has called you to be.
So does a jar of clay with a tarnish still have value? Is it still beautiful? In the words of my friend Lady J: ” the jar is still beautiful although it’s tarnished because its beauty is in its purpose, not its appearance….As children of God no matter how ragged or ratchet (lol at her use of ratchet..lol) we may be, we are still a vessel, beautifully and wonderfully made. The jar still has a purpose and that is never taken from it. It is called to be a vessel.”
I open myself up to be that vessel that Lady J described. As Christians, we must expect that the walk will not be easy at times and that we will have doubts and question ourselves as we journey on this thing called life. But most assuredly, we all have value. We all have a purpose. Because we are God’s children.