“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken… “ II Corinthians 4:7-11 (The Message)
Laura Hillenbrand wrote a beautiful book in 2010 titled Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. It was the story of the incredible life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, an Olympic athlete and subsequent World War II hero. The book is moving and uplifting. Zamperini’s life was one that needed to be celebrated, and Hillenbrand accomplished that well in her book. A subsequent movie about the book was also very powerful, if somewhat less inspiring than the book.
As we begin this Memorial Day weekend, we celebrate those who gave their lives in service to their country. Zamperini did not die in World War II. He survived the horrible ordeal of capture by the Japanese army, and terrible treatment in prison camps. It was only after the war that Zamperini suffered what we would now call PTSD, and he descended into depression and alcoholism. His story of recovery from a life broken by war and torture is touching and carries hope.
We can see that Zamperini had a light, a Spirit in him, from early in life, but it was not fully exposed until after he had been broken by war and disease. He was strong, but he was breakable, as we all are.
God indeed has given us the treasure of the Holy Spirit in clay pots which are easily broken. Yet, those pots need to be broken in order for the light to shine out. Jesus said that we should not hide our light under a bushel. Indeed, we have this precious treasure of eternal life inside of very breakable clay bodies. When we yield that clay to God’s purposes, His light will certainly shine through.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the sacrifices that people have made to keep us free, and thank you for the Spirit that powers our lives, Amen