Jeremiah 18:1-10 MSG
1 GOD told Jeremiah,
2 “Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to say.”
3 So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel.
4 Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.
5 Then GOD’s Message came to me:
6 “Can’t I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?” GOD’s Decree! “Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel.
7 At any moment I may decide to pull up a people or a country by the roots and get rid of them.
8 But if they repent of their wicked lives, I will think twice and start over with them.
9 At another time I might decide to plant a people or country,
10 but if they don’t cooperate and won’t listen to me, I will think again and give up on the plans I had for them.
I am going to use some writer’s license in using a portion of the above chapter to highlight a minor subject.
I am not one who can do crafts, woodwork, or any other hobby that calls for a straight line, symmetry, or just a creative eye. However, I can spot great artistry like fine paintings, drawings, woodworking, and yes pottery.
I have a basic understanding of how pottery is created. How that each piece starts with some great clay, a potter’s wheel, and an eye to spot imperfections. Then how the final creation is put into a furnace until it has cohesion and has new strength.
The potter grabs some wet clay places it on the wheel and pumps the pedal creating a circular motion while the potter works hands to begin to shape that clump of clay into something that is distinguishable to the eye. During the process he stops for some moments takes a step back to look at the work in progress to notice if there are any imperfections in the piece. If not satisfied with the creation thus far he takes his fist and slams it into the work until it is just a lump of clay again. Then begins the process over sometimes many times until he has a perfect vessel ready to be fired.
Our lives are much like that of the lump of clay on a potter’s wheel being molded until there is a vessel worthy of honor.
Romans 9: MSG
21 Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans?
Sometimes in our Christian walk we can go through times where we are broken in spirit. We sometimes find ourselves questioning God why are we going through this time of brokenness.
I have found myself broken many times. Being betrayed by someone who I have trusted. Other times broken when a friend or loved one are taken way too early in their lives. At times crying until there are no more tears to fall across the cheeks of my face.
My faith has even been broken when the fiery trials come my way to the point I just want to quit. Yet, I know that the trial cannot last forever and if I hold onto the hand of God I know I will come out the other side better than when I went in.
1 Peter 1: MSG
7 Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.
I know like Paul wrote that I must continue going forward keeping my eye on the prize ahead and never turn to look backwards.
Philippians 3: KJV
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Like the psalmist wrote in the twenty third chapter of the Book of Psalms, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”
I have learned in my Christian walk that we need the valleys because that is where we can find fresh water and food. On the mountain tops those two necessities are most likely scarce. In those low moments in my life I know that my Saviour is leading me even when I am totally broken and to the onlooker completely devastated, completely useless.
The potter never creates two pieces totally identical. In some way visible or not each vessel is different and more than likely have different uses.
I play the piano and the organ, yet I know that no matter how hard I try to copy some other pianist or organist my technique in playing is different. An associate once told me that every musician is unique just like our finger prints are unique one from another.
If you are broken at this time please let me assure you that it will not last, that in the final end you will be a vessel of honour that will bring glory to God.