Tuesday, February 19, 2013
In the Hands of the Potter
It's amazing how a clay pot can be so strong, yet at the same time so fragile. From the earliest scenes of man's story, God taught us how to take clay, heat it to a certain point, then let it cool to create earthen ware that would last a long, long time. There have been whole clay pots found that have survived thousands of years, yet one could fall only a few feet off a shelf and shatter.
I don't know about you, but often times I feel like a piece of pottery. In my 41 years, I have lasted through a lot. Certainly when I consider the people who live in war-torn parts of the world, or those who survived ethnic genocides, or other horrible human tragedies, my life may seem easy in comparison. However, I can only observe the hardships of others, but I have to live mine. And it has been through some of the lowest valleys in my life that I have witnessed the strength that God can give me to survive physically, mentally and emotionally. Sometimes now I can look back and wonder, "how in the world did I make it through that'.
But as often as I have felt very strong, I have also felt very weak. Though I have survived many mountains, there are some hills that I 'clare' are about to do me in. Though I have amazed myself at times at the big things I have been able to stand up to, I have also shamed myself at the small things that have brought me to my knees. And when I look at the clay pot that I see when I look into the mirror, I wonder how something so durable can at the same time be so fragile. But then I read in the bible about the potter and his clay.
In reading Jeremiah 18, I am reminded that both the strength and the weakness of a pot rest in the hands of the potter. Only He can choose the clay used to make it, how He will shape it, how long He will bake it. The pot cannot choose that. And once it is made, the fate of that pot still rests in the hands of the one who created it. Through that I realize that God chose to make me out of clay so that I can be strong enough to be of some use to Him, but fragile enough so He can break me and make me over when He wants.
So if today you happen to be feeling particularly fragile, I hope that you have accepted Christ so that you can rest assured that you are safe in the hands of the potter.