The designer/artistic side of me loves to see the outcome of a project when you are limited to using found or recycled items. Things that are tossed out or thrown away are remade into something of worth. I used to like the television programs where they did just that, they did some dumpster diving or found something in the off-beat corner of the world and made something new and alive from those finds.
Ever have those days when you feel like you’ve been tossed out, left on the shelf, forgotten? A cracked pot or withering bloom? Our society and culture today would leave you on the curbside, but the Lord Almighty has wonderful plans for you. You may say, well, I’m too old to be used now, my time is almost up and I have too many flaws, cracks, and crooks to be any good for God. Well, I think God can use you in that state of disrepair, so let’s look at it from a biblical perspective;
“God told Jeremiah, “Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to say.” So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. 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. Then God’s Message came to me: “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. At any moment I may decide to pull up a people or a country by the roots and get rid of them. But if they repent of their wicked lives, I will think twice and start over with them.” — Jeremiah 18:1-10a (The Message)
Jeremiah went to the potter’s house and saw how pots were being formed and when one gets a bit messy and not being formed properly, the potter started over. That’s easy to do when the clay is soft and pliable. When it is in its infancy and has not been through the fire.
God remakes with soft clay
Throughout the book of Proverbs, we find the teachings of a father to his son. These words of wisdom are for our day as well. The young hearts and minds in our society are looking to latch onto something, anything that will provide an identity for them. They have not found how to step into an identity through Christ, or maybe have, yet don’t want to be kept on the outside. We read in the bible to train up a child in the way he/she should go and when they grow up, they will not depart from it. It is true, I see it now even in my own life.
Not only is important to train up a child in God’s ways, but it is important to protect that soft clay. They have a developing heart and a teachable spirit. We are told throughout God’s word to guard your heart. The heart during those times was what they thought controlled everything, that is where not only the emotional being came from it is where the spiritual being within was housed, in the heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” — Proverbs 4:23
Because soft clay is just that, soft, God can remake the vessel how He so chooses when it gets marred and dinged by the formation process. But what about those times when it seems we’ve been through the fire?
God recreates with hard clay
Our experiences through life, through the church, through family can often create a seemingly impenetrable heart, one that is hard like fired clay. Yet fragile enough that when situation after situation come after you, it can crack. That’s when God’s handiwork is at its best.God can remake the vessel how He so chooses when it gets marred and dinged by the formation process. Click To Tweet
When we are hard, it may be that God has to take His hammer and crack us a bit more. Remember Job? He’s a friend of God, a loyal and obedient servant and still, God allowed for his life to be turned upside down. Yet Job’s loyalty was always to his Redeemer. That is being put through the fire and more! When circumstances in our life get a bit outside our comfort zone, who do you rely on? God just might be taking His hammer and making a cut where it needs to be, of filing down a rough spot or placing a bit of force to get the pieces all in alignment. He just might be making a new thing with your life.
I’ve seen artists use cracked pots to form new mosaics, stepping stones, and fountains. God can take the hardened clay portions of our lives and make something beautiful out of what we see as fragments. For out of the root of Jesse, came our King of Kings.
“Though its root may grow old int he earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant.” — Job 14:8-9
Ah, yes, we’re never too old, never too young for God to use. The world may say that you and I can’t be used, but God says He has mighty things planned for our lives. For we are His testimony. We know His story and can share His faithfulness through how He remakes us or recreates us. Our message is Christ.
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” — 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
We may be at a difficult time in our lives, but God still carves His story through our words and our actions to build up the body and proclaim who He is to the ends of the world. There is a lot we can learn through the stages of making pottery yet, in the end, know that God can make and will make all things beautiful in His time.