Losing heart

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We have this ministry and so we do not lose heart.

We are the glory-carriers.  The ones whose eyes have been opened.  Who have seen the light which shines out of darkness.  We have seen the glory of God in the face of Christ.  And, beholding that glory, we are transformed from one degree of glory to another.  Transformed until all that remains is glory.

We have this ministry and so we do not lose heart.

We are the glory-carriers.  In our jars of clay is a treasure, a surpassing power.  This latter ministry is greater than the former.  One which brought death came with such glory that they could not look upon the glory-carrier’s face.  Yet what followed, this one, comes with such glory that what once had glory now has no glory at all.

We have this ministry…

We are the glory-carriers.  But our jars are clay.  And we are battered and bruised.  Glory to glory seems more like unhope to unhope as we teeter on the edge of the precipice which is heart crushed, driven to despair, forsaken and destroyed.

and we come close to losing heart.

For the death of it seems endless.  The things that are seen are transient.  What we stood upon proves mist that appears for a little while and then is gone.  We who live are always being given over to death for his sake.  Death that life may be manifested in us, yes.  But still the death which works its fearsome designs upon our outer nature, even as the inner nature steps into the deeps of glory.

Yes, we come close to losing heart.

Death is at work in us.  Death.  Life too perhaps.  But a lot of death.

One degree of glory to another.  Perhaps.  But let us not deny that this glory comes cross-shaped.

No way around this, though we affect to be surprised.  Speechless, even.  That our work, such a very Christian work, should know so much death.  Yet who can ignore it?  Death is at work in us.

We have this ministry…

But it truly is ministry.  All for your sake.  That as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving.  All of it that the glory of the One may increase.

Death is at work in us.  But in recent days I have seen life at work in you.  Death has had its day.  Continues yet, wreaking havoc on those who would carry the glory.

But still.

Still I know I have seen the life of Jesus manifested in you.  A life which is the very grace which will extend to more and more people.  People whom I could never hope to know.

We have this ministry and so we do not lose heart.

For I cannot help but wonder.

Has our dying been the crucible for your living?  Has the death in our flesh been directly connected to the life of Jesus in yours?

And when he raises us, brings us with you into his presence, then will our dying be engulfed in the carrying of a weight of glory beyond all compare?

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As well as 2 Corinthians 4:12, which echoes throughout the post, I’ve been in Ephesians 3:13 and Colossians 1:24.  I don’t entirely know what to do with these Scriptures but their whispers entice me to this declaration of hope and heart, even as what I saw a few days ago also strengthens my suspicions.  When all around me appear overwhelmed by the temerity with which this daily dying stalks us, yet this – all of it – strengthens me to walk on in the ministry of glory.

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2 thoughts on “Losing heart

  1. I have just read this, Chloe. It is a really brave post. In it you ask some questions that I have only dared tentatively raise with one person in my life, who I thought might just ‘get’ what I was clumsily and too-self-consciously trying to say… Penultimate parable especially. I do wonder, too. But You have been brave enough to wonder ‘out loud’. Thank you for sharing, once again.xx

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement! And I hope you may have seen from F/b why it has taken me unusually long to respond? The last couple of weeks have held an excitement of a particular kind!

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