Thursday, July 07 2022
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.5 Then the word of the LORD came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Jeremiah 18:1-6
Lessons and Thoughts to Ponder and Remember
In the above scripture, the Potter refers to our Wonderful God, but who is the clay? In that day it was Israel, today it is You and I, it’s the Church, but you could just as well say it’s our congregation or our Christian families. Remember WHO you are!
• Stay on the Wheel. There are times we want to jump off the potter’s wheel because we get tired of being in the process; we want to be the finished vessel without going through the pain and discomfort. Sometimes we want to be where we see others are or think they are not knowing how they got there. They might not even be where they appear to be. We see what appears to be glory without knowing the story. Remember WHERE you are!
The Wheel is Symbolic of the circumstances and situations that life brings our way.
Life can often seem like a large circle, one trial after another. Sometimes like the clay we don’t like the shaping process and may fight back a bit, resisting and wobbling in what we know to be true (scripture) But we must remember that the Potter controls the speed of the wheel and it only rotates according to His will (like the old fashion sewing machines). Never forget that God is still in control, regardless of what we face and He knows how much we can bear.
• Remember You Are Still In His Hands: While the clay spins around on the wheels, it is never out of contact with the Potter’s hands. He is in constant control, molding and shaping the clay through his skill and guidance. If he removed His hand, the clay would spin right off the wheel and would be lost. Remember WHOSE you are.
• The Potter Controls The Oven: The temperature of the potter’s oven must be hot enough to burn the impurities out of the clay and creates a new bonded substance. Too much heat too fast and it cracks and falls apart. Sometimes the clay thinks it cannot take any more heat but the Potter knows how high and how long the clay must be in the oven to accomplish the finished design.
Let me conclude with the Story of the Vase
A grandfather and a grandmother were in a gift shop looking for something to give their granddaughter for her birthday. Suddenly the grandmother spots a beautiful vase, “Look at this lovely piece of work”, she says to her husband. He picks it up and says you are right; this is one of the loveliest vases I have ever seen.
At that point, something remarkable happened. Something that could only happen in a children’s book. The vase says to the grandparents. “Thank you for the compliment, but I wasn’t always beautiful.” Instead of being surprised that the vase can talk, the grandfather asks it, what do you mean when you say you weren’t always beautiful? Well, says the vase, “once I was just an ugly soggy lump of clay. But one day some man with dirty wet hands threw me on a wheel.
Then he started turning me around and around until I got so dizzy I couldn’t see straight. Stop..Stop I cried. But the man with the wet hands said, Not Yet! Then he started to poke me and punch me until I hurt all over, Stop..Stop I cried, but the man said “Not Yet”. Each time I thought he was through, he would crumble and roll me up and begin to poke and punch me again. Finally, he did stop. But then he did something much worse, he put me into a furnace. It got hotter and hotter until I couldn’t stand it. Stop..Stop.. I cried. But the man said, “Not Yet”.
Finally, when I thought I was going to burn up, the man took me out of the furnace. Then some short lady began to paint me, and the fumes got so bad that they made me feel sick. “Stop…Stop..” I cried. “Not Yet” said the lady. Finally, she did stop, but then she gave me back to the man and he put me back into that awful furnace. This time it was hotter than before. “Stop…Stop” I cried, but the man said “Not Yet”.
Finally, he took me out of the furnace and let me cool. When I was completely cool, a pretty lady put me on this shelf, next to this mirror. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I was amazed; I could not believe what I saw. I was no longer ugly, soggy, and dirty; I was beautiful, firm, and clean. I cried for joy. It was then I realized that all the pain was worthwhile. Without it I would still be an ugly, soggy lump of wet clay. It was then that all the pain took on new meaning for me. It had passed, but the beauty it brought has remained.
What a tremendous and encouraging illustration, which I hope will help guide and guard us under the pressures and challenges which come into all of our lives from within and outside the Church.
Remember the Potter has a purpose in mind, and He has the skill and ability to fulfill it, no matter what obstacles or challenges come our way. We are living in very challenging times of pandemics, mass shootings, resurgence of blatant acts of racism, and deeply rooted polarization. NACOG, we must always remember that our first allegiance is to the will and ways of our Lord. So, in each season of our lives as individuals, families, congregations, and as part of the Church of God Movement;
Let us yield to the Lord’s wise Will and Ways
Let us stand up for biblical righteousness, holiness, and unity
Let us rest in the Lord as He shapes and reshapes us to align us according to His Word
Let us resist leaning to our own understanding and preferences
Let us in all our ways acknowledge the sovereign will of the Lord over us
Let us remember we are the Lord’s Servants Under Construction
Let us be thankful the Potter is able to repurpose and reshape marred clay
Let us Trust Him, Obey Him and Watch Him Work out all things to our good and His glory
Shalom and Blessings
Presiding Elder, Rev. Clifton McDowell