Monday, September 29, 2014

Clay in the Potter’s Hand

The story is told of a couple who went to England to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and shopped at a beautiful antique store. They both liked antiques and pottery,and especially tea-cups,and so spotting an exceptional cup, they asked "May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful." As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea-cup spoke... "You don't understand." It said, "I have not always been a tea-cup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, Don't do that. I don't like it! "Let me alone," but he only smiled, and gently said; "Not yet!!" "Then, WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. "Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!" I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly; 'Not yet.' He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then...he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. "Help! Get me out of here!" 'Not yet.'

When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! "Ah, this is much better," I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible.. "Oh, please, Stop it! Stop it!" I cried. He only shook his head and said. "Not yet..." Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first time. This time it was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged... I pleaded... I screamed...I cried... I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up and just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited and waited, wondering "What's he going to do to me next?" An hour later he handed me a mirror and said "Look at yourself." And I did... I said, "That's not me, that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!" -Source Unknown.

The prophet Isaiah wrote this: “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8). What is the clear message of this depiction? The potter gives his full attention working closely with a feeble, unpleasant, muddled lump of clay. The potter is firmly focused with an expectation to alter that piece of soiled clay into a piece of art – a masterpiece. Thus when we allow God in our lives, we become a beautiful masterpiece in His hands. It begins first with our identity: “Who are we in God’s sight?” “…we are the clay…” (Psalms 138:8). Then, the next question to answer is this: “Who God must be in our lives?“ He is “…our potter…” (Psalms 119:73). When these two realities are fully embedded in us and after yielding our identity to God’s identity, we become “…the work of His hand” (Psalms 100:3).

What biblical principles can we learn from this depiction? (a) Aspire to become God’s best by becoming willing clay in God’s hand in order to reveal His purpose in our lives and for others we come in contact with (Ephesians 2:10); (b) Recognize God’s capability that God is the Potter in our life and He must always have the final say-so (Isaiah 45:9); (c) Treasure every touch of God that occurs in our lives in ALL circumstances and that the interaction between God as the Potter and us as the clay creates a dynamic and partnership for His work in our lives for His glory alone (Isaiah 43:10).

What’s the bottom-line? Never throw your life away over a flaw, a mistake, or a sin. Never allow yourself to be broken and remain that way. God can reshape you, heal you and put you back together again.

It is not you who shape God; it is God that shapes you.
If then you are the work of God, await the hand of the Artist who does all things in due season.

Offer the Potter your heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form in which 
the Artist has fashioned you. 

Let your clay be moist, lest you grow hard and lose 
the imprint of the Potter’s
fingers. - Written by Irenaues from the 2nd Century, “From God’s Hands”

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