Fireflies, Glow Worms & Smudged Jelly Jars


That's what I've been doing all day. Thinking about the concept "Message in a Bottle."

We . . . are like fragile . . . jars . . . containing . . . great treasure [2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT], is preceded in Scripture with these words from verse 6 identifying the treasure: For God . . . made His light shine in our hearts . . .

The treasure is God in us!

Did you ever spend a summer evening catching fireflies? Years ago my sisters and I crept around the yard scooping up what we called "lightning bugs." After each hunt, we sat on the porch steps entertained by the activity in our homemade lanterns. We were looking at the jars, but our focus was not on the glass in our hands. No, our eyes were fixed on the contents. We watched the bugs–crawling, flickering, fluttering–mesmerized by the light show they created in the dark Kentucky nights.

I want God's light to shine through me just like the fireflies flashing behind the glass in those old jelly jars. His Light is in my heart. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says so!

A dear Christian lady reminded me this morning that what we begin in the Spirit, we cannot finish in the flesh, and I wholeheartedly agree. I've come to understand that I will never be all I can be spiritually until I fully accept my humanity: my strengths and my shortcomings, my gifts and my guffaws, my talents and my torments. I will fail. I will disappoint others. I will disappoint myself more than anyone else. But I have a great hope!

Smudged and marred, maybe even cracked or chipped, my "vessel" still carries a pure message: the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. When I notice my "container" needs some maintenance, I pray I will have the humility and strength to turn to God for cleansing and repairs. The world around me will see more of God in me when I submit to His restorative work in my life.

Thank God for the words of verse 1 of this same chapter [2 Corinthians 4] that give me the confidence I need, regardless of my limitations, to pursue my ministry dreams: Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

I could easily get discouraged if I focused on my failures. Why would anyone listen to me? Why would God want to use me? And on days when the adrenalin is running high and my snowball is successfully rolling downhill gaining size and momentum, it would be just as easy to tilt in the opposite direction. Crediting my own hard work and abilities instead of acknowledging God's grace and goodness would be a big mistake.

Finding the right balance between "I can do all things through Christ" [Philippians 4:13] and “apart from me you can do nothing” [John 15:5] is key.

Looking through the pages of the old church song books, we find many hymnwriters refer to human beings as "worms." That's not a popular concept in our "it's all about me" society. Mankind is the highest life form, loaded with potential and value and created in the very image of God, but in comparison to the Lord, the worm metaphor is a fair appraisal of the human condition. I know I've experienced days when I felt lower than Walt's nightcrawlers, but I recently heard a speaker say, "We're all worms. Be a GLOW WORM!"

And as my Daddy used to sing in mellow baritone accompanied by finger picking on his acoustic guitar, "Glow, little glow worm . . . glimmer, glimmer!"

About LoriWagner

Lori Wagner is the best-selling author of 15 books, with over 50,000 copies sold. Her works include The Pure Path Series (discipleship/Christian growth for girls), The Briar Hollow Series (historical fiction), and "Holy Intimacy." Her most recent projects include Orbis, a board game, and "Wisdom is a Lady," a small-group resource that includes video teaching sessions.  Lori is a licensed minister, a Purpose Institute Campus Administrator, and serves as the Michigan District Prayer Coordinator for the World Network of Prayer. She has served as the Michigan State Coordinator for the National Day of Prayer and is an elected representative in her community for five terms.  
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