But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. -2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

Have you ever watched a car crusher in action? It uses enormous force and pressure to crush large, metal, multi-ton cars into a very small cubes or sandwiches of metal, glass, and rubber.

Sometimes life can make you feel like you’re in a car crusher, where you’re being subjected to pressure from all sides, and you feel like you’ll implode. The pressure is so great that you can hardly move…it’s so debilitating that your loved ones wonder how you’ve been functioning this long under those conditions.

Like earthen jars of clay, we are just frail and unassuming forms, with frames that can only take so much. And because of this, God is given the glory by powering us from within…motivating us and strengthening us to supernatural and superhuman levels. It is not us, but Him who makes it possible to survive the extreme pressure cookers and car crushers and blast furnaces of life.

It is also when we falter–even for a second–and take our eyes off Jesus, that we feel the unbelievable pain that God was shouldering for us while we walked with eyes on Him.

The next time people say to you that they can’t believe how you’ve lasted so long through a trial or season that should’ve crushed you, just let them know this: it’s not you, a mere jar of clay, that could survive such pressure, but the treasure of God within you that gives you the spiritual, structural strength to outlast and overcome!