It has always been my desire to contribute something to the body of Christ that will last. However, at the end of a day's work, when I look at the shelves of goblets and bread plates, I see frail, earthen vessels. It is only after they pass through fire that they gain the strength that makes them last. I carefully gauge these fires. They are never so hot that they would destroy the piece. And yet, they must be hot enough to bring out the beauty of the glaze.
This is a reminder to me that the trials we face will not be more than we can bear; "we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; struck down, but not destroyed" (II Cor. 4:8-9 NASB). How necessary to remember that we can do nothing apart from God. He gauges our circumstances, remembering that we are only dust. "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be God and not from ourselves" (II Cor. 4:7 NASB)