But this precious treasure - this light and power that now shine within us - is held in a perishable container, that is, is our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.

We are pressed by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don't know why things happen as they do, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and again and keep going. These bodies of ours are constantly facing death just as Jesus did; so it is clear to all that it is only the living Christ within (who keeps us safe).

Yes, we live under constant danger to our lives because we serve the Lord, but this gives us constant opportunities to show forth the power of Jesus Christ within our dying bodies. Because of our preaching we face death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you. 2 Corinthians 4: 7-12 (TLB)

And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.

Romans 8:28 (TLB)

Heather Hagstrom is from Kansas. While driving home from a trip, she encountered a spectacular scene at a rest area. From the outside, the building looked like any other plain brick structure. However, when Heather opened the door, she saw a beautiful mosaic celebrating the state of Missouri that filled an entire wall. She gasped in awe as she saw ornate scenes of butterflies landing on brilliantly colored flowers, steam-boats on the swirling river, and images of people who made an impact in the state. When Heather stepped closer to try to get a better view, she saw the broken pieces of pottery and glass that were carefully placed in cement to create this beautiful picture.

The mosaic reminded Heather that God can use the broken pieces of our lives to create a beautiful story. When Heather gave God her broken pieces - heartache from losing a job, pain from a failed relationship, suffering from a serious illness - God could mold her to become more like Christ. Heather could trust God to work for her even when she did not see how the brokenness in her life would turn out for good.

As the broken pieces of pottery created a beautiful story, God can use our brokenness to give others hope. Together we can tell a beautiful story of God's restorative love.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we give you the broken pieces of ourselves. Help us to trust that you will restore us and create something beautiful from our brokenness, in Jesus' name, amen.

The butterfly symbolizes the start of a new life.

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