Jeremiah 18:1-6 (AMP) The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and saw that he was working at the wheel. But the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled by the potter’s hand; so he made it over, reworking it and making it into another pot that seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” says the Lord. “Look carefully, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.
As I was reading my Bible last week, I came across this text. The potter was working with clay that had already been made into something. He decided to make it into another pot, because he saw fit to make it over. God asked Israel, if He could do the same thing with them. This was a passage of hope for me. We can never be too far gone to give it back to Him. I have to keep reminding myself that I am still in the Potter’s Hands. There are two illustrations using this passage that I would like to share. I did not write them, but I thought you would enjoy reading them.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the “scars” as a part of the design. Using this as a metaphor for healing ourselves teaches us an important lesson: Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient. (Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-japanese-art-technique-kintsugi-can-help-you-be-more-ncna866471)
When life is unfolding in hard ways, it can feel impossible to understand why God would allow hurt upon hurt. How could His mercy not fix all of this? How could He possibly use any of this for good? We see more and more unnecessary heartbreak. But God sees the exact pieces and parts that must be added right now to protect us, provide for us and prepare us with more and more of His strength working through us. I learned about these very necessary “pieces and parts” one day with a friend whose mother is a professional potter. I was sharing with her about how, when we place the dust of our shattered places into God’s hands and He mixes it with His living water, the clay that’s formed can then be made into anything. She smiled so big. She’d seen clay being formed into many beautiful things when placed into her mother’s hands. And she shared something with me that made my jaw drop. She told me that wise potters not only know how to form beautiful things from clay, but they also know how important it is to add some of the dust from previously broken pieces of pottery to the new clay. This type of dust is called “grog.” When shattered just right, the grog dust added to the new clay will enable the potter to form the clay into a larger and stronger vessel than ever before. And it can go through fires much hotter as well. Plus, when glazed, these pieces end up having a much more beautiful, artistic look to them than they would have otherwise. (Source: Lysa TerKeurst, It Is Not Supposed to Be This Way)
I love both of these illustrations. There is so much hope in knowing that I can never be so broken that I would no longer have any value. I am preparing my message for Mother’s Day. I have been doing so since God placed the topic in my heart at the first of the year. It is a message of putting our lives back into the Potter’s Hands. When God asks us, “Can I do with you as the potter does?” He is asking us, “Do you trust me?” When calamity and folly comes our way? When we do not get the house we wanted? When we did not get that job? When the bills keep piling up or the car breaks down again? Do you trust Him?
I have been the woman sobbing into my pillow at night because I was worried about where we would live. Or, I was so exhausted from everything that I could not hold it together any longer. I have to remember to be still (rest in His peace). Do you trust Him? When we have done all, stand on the promise of His Word. He will take you the rest of the way through. He will fill in the cracks. He will make it over if He has to. Trust!
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