“So, I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot; shaping it as it seemed best to him.” Jeremiah 18:3
The potter is God. The potter is not other people. When we go to the potter’s house, other people are not sitting at the wheel spinning the clay while the potter drinks lemonade, lays back and thinks amateurs can make the clay into the perfect pot that he had in mind. Honestly, when you think about it like that it sounds absurd. It would be like an architect who draws plans for a new building, but then lets random people try to build it or the interior decorator who knows exactly how to decorate the new lobby, he/she can see it in her mind and the plan has been drawn, but they just let someone else do it? In all seriousness, that does not make sense. Why would the master designer get off his stool and allow someone else to shape his clay into the design only he knows? He would not and he does not.
As we go through life, we are influenced by multitudes of people! Commericals, trends, movie stars, cliques, even opposite genders try and shape us and mold us. They are quick to show us what we do not have and entice appetites to feast our eyes on what we lack instead of illuminating the bundle of potential and packaged good that we are. The words and pictures of flat screen tv’s and magazine racks sting our hearts and spin the wheel of our thoughts to focus on what we do not have, thus, we begin to move ourselves in certain ways, bending and twisting trying to shape ourselves into something that was never intended for our clay. We no longer lay in the hands of the potter, relaxed, feeling the warmth of his hands pressing in on us, but now have looked at the other pieces he has made and decided that we do not like the shape he is forming us and we push back becoming unpliable clay. I believe in the bible the word was “stiff necked.”
Friends, especially girlfriends, why do we get ourselves in a bind all by ourselves by allowing our eyes to deceive our hearts to believing we need to be like someone else? We can look at other people’s ministry and say, “Why not me, God? I can do that, too.” We look at marriages and envy that ours does not look like theirs or why can’t I wear clothes like her and be a size just like her, too. Why not? I want to do that, too! We get our eyes so focused on what others look like that we convince ourselves it would be better to be them! What we fail to do with our roaming eyes is to remember that they too are clay. They were created by the same potter that you were and I was. They too sat on the potter’s wheel. No one is exempt from being in the potter’s hands. And all clay has flaws.
While you look to them for what you think is right and best for you, they look at someone else and think how they would like to be like them! Why can we not become clay that is content being the piece of pottery that our potter, God, intended? If we would take the time, energy and thoughts that we burst forth in our discontentment imagine what would happen if we flipped that energy and honed it in on what we do have to be content with? How much good for the kingdom could be done if we were just content being what the potter had in mind?
Every piece of pottery made by the potter has a different shape, size and purpose! Some are created to be bowls, some are created to pour water, some are made to serve food. One is not less important than the other. We need to understand that while we may look different, be shaped different than other people, it does not diminish the value and the need for us. We were all created to do something different, but here is the cool thing, it all works together to bring glory and honor and praise to the King of Kings. We could not feast with one pot! One pot may be used for cooking, but it cannot serve the drinking water too. One pot is used for cooking, another as a pitcher to pour water, another as a plate to hold the meal. But there is not a piece of pottery that can do all three things alone. We need each piece in order to come together for one purpose.
This truth can set us free of misconceived ideas of who we need to be, because of what others have said and for what our eyes think we should be. If we can look in our design, see the treasures that lie within our own pieces of clay; then we can say no to what consumes us and allow the potter to develop us into the vessel to be used for its original purpose.
“O house of Israel can I not do with you as this potter does? declares the Lord. Like clay in the hand of the potter so are you in my hand. ” Jeremiah 18:6
Friends, let us remember this and allow Jesus to say, “Be still!” to our discontentment and dissatisfaction within us:
- God holds me in his hand. I am in the hand of the one who is perfect.
- We can find rest, peace and affirmation in the truth that other human beings have limited knowledge, insight and power. They do not hold us in the palms of their hands, it is God himself who does. We are his treasured possession.
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” Deuteronomy 7:6