But, I want to be a beautiful jar!
Jeremiah, sent by God with sermons of correction, received a message in the strangest of places. “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… 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.” (Jeremiah 18:1-6, The Message)
We are like clay in the Lord’s hands! He makes us into a jar that is fitting for His plans. We get that part of the picture, don’t we? Stretching the metaphor, Jeremiah gave ‘life’ to the clay. We can resist the work of the Potter! We can remove ourselves from His wheel, seeking our own destiny.
In Jeremiah’s message there are two truths that are parallel rails in life –
God does what He wills to do, and
We are free to choose!
Those two facts seem to be contradictions by our reasoning, don’t they? The consistent truth in Scripture is that the Lord is sovereign (accountable only to Himself) and that human beings are given the gift of freedom to accept or reject Him.
In obedience we find peace and life. Of the willful clay in Jeremiah’s revelation, God said, “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. … Straighten out your lives.’ “But they’ll just say, ‘Why should we? What’s the point? We’ll live just the way we’ve always lived, doom or no doom.’ ” (Jeremiah 18:10-12, The Message)
What kind of ‘clay’ are you, Christian?
Do you rejoice to be used of God? Will you find joy in whatever He does, be faithful to His purpose no matter where He chooses to use you? Or will you complain about how God is shaping you, resisting His efforts to mold your life?
In His will, some of us are like beautiful flower vases, displaying His glory, richly gifted. And, some of us are like Tupperware™ containers, very useful, but ordinary and unnoticed. What we do and where we serve is His choice! He gives us the freedom to accept or reject, reminding us that regardless of our station or service, we will know joy and fulfillment if we, unlike the people of ancient Judah, will say, “Yes, Lord, here I am. Use me.”
This passage asks us to learn obedience, with trust in Him. It is not easy! “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20-21, NIV)
Even as I read these words and write of the choice God gives us, I know first-hand the difficulty of submission to Him. Living in a time when it appears that He will take my wife, my beloved from me, I want to question Him. To what purpose would He take the one I love dearly, my partner in life and ministry, my friend and confidante? My prayer, with many tears, is that I will remain faithful, fit for the Master’s use, until that Day when understanding comes.
Perhaps, you like me, are being shaped in ways that are hard. Listen! Trust! Wait! Love! Keep faith! The word from the Word is rich in comfort for we who are clay. Lord, make this word a living Word to our hearts today. “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10, NLT)
The Potter’s Hand
Beautiful Lord, wonderful Savior,
I know, for sure, all of my days are
Held in Your hand crafted into
Your perfect plan.
You gently call me into Your presence,
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit,
Teach me, dear Lord, to live all of my life
Through Your eyes.
I’m captured by Your holy calling,
Set me apart, I know You’re drawing
Me to Yourself.
Lead me, Lord, I pray.
Take me, mold me,
Use me, fill me;
I give my life
To the Potter’s hand!
Call me, guide me,
Lead me, walk beside me;
I give my life
To the Potter’s hand!
Darlene Zschech© 1997 Wondrous Worship (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)
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