We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but notabandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (emphasis added)
I am currently involved with an online Bible study and our current book is by Suzanne Eller, entitled "The Mended Heart." The title itself grabbed my attention. Who doesn't have something in their heart that hurts. I know I have several areas of hurt in my heart, some others know, some only God knows. The verse at the top is one of the verses she references to when she talks about the hurt in our hearts caused by people we love. This verse has been a favorite of mine for a long time but after digging deeper this morning into what the writer of this verse was trying to convey, it means a whole lot more to me!
"Treasure in jars of clay" - Clay jars have little or no value to them. Clay, when broken, is hard to put back together and in my experience of trying to repair something of clay, you can "fix it with super glue" but you can see the lines and if you hold it up to the light, you can see cracks and holes where light filters in. It isn't "perfect" any more! I see that as my life...words people say, or words you long for someone to say to you....both of these chip away at our dream of a "perfect life". Words break that "clay pot" and we try to fix the broken pieces with smiles, or "I am ok" phrases, or thoughts like "i should be able to handle this", or thoughts like "Its only words" I can deal with it. When in reality, when our heart hurts, and we try to put the pieces back together with out the proper "glue", the jar of our hearts falls apart again, and those broken pieces become even more broken.
Look back at the verses out of 2 Corinthians 4 - there are four "but not" phrases that I see as God's promises.
"Hard pressed on every side BUT NOT crushed"
"Perplexed, BUT NOT in despair"
"Persecuted, BUT NOT abandoned"
"Struck down BUT NOT destroyed"
I looked at what Matthew Henry stated about these verses in his commentary of this and this is what he said, "Whatever condition the child of God may be in, they have a "but not" to comfort themselves with."
God does allow things that hurt into our lives. I am far from reaching that point where I can accept without question what He does allow, but this hurting but mending heart loves the "but not" promises of God and like a cracked pot that is put back together by the expert, I want my "cracked heart" to be a something God's Light can shine through and prayerfully, someone else will see God does mend the hurting heart and when His light filters through the mended heart, HIS beauty can be seen.
Hence, the picture at the top means a lot to me too....Its hard to make it out maybe, but that little yellow road sign shows that a curve is coming up. On the road of your life and mine, there are curves, but God has promised to be right there with us! His rainbow is a promise of His love to us! I know I am far from perfect, but with God's "But not" promises, I want to face the road ahead of me, no matter what curves come, and walk beside my Lord.
And just another side note, if you look closely, there is a double rainbow! Its almost like God has a great sense of humor and says, "You forgot my first promise to be with you...here is a double reminder that you don't walk alone!"