Thursday, October 30, 2014

When Cracked Pots Leak

As I get older and reflect on the paths I've traveled, the detours and the rocky roads, the peaceful paths that were flat and were surrounded with beautiful scenery and free from obstacles, I can't help but wonder how many of them could have been different had the path before it changed.

Do you take the time to think about such things?

We could have been born in any time period, in any country, in any family but God placed us in this time, in the country or state or town we are in, in the family we are born into, for a purpose.  You didn't get to pick where you started out on this planet or the circumstances you were born into, but God did.

Some of us were born into really difficult circumstances.  Some of us never knew one or both parents.  Some of us moved around so often that any roots that started to embed into the ground never really had a chance to provide nourishment to our souls.   Some of us were raised around violence, some around addiction, some were raised around both.

We don't get to choose our start.

Some of us were born into affluence and privilege.  Some were born into very strict and religious families.  Some of us were born with no religious base.

We didn't get to choose our beginning.

Some of us have had, or still do have, a hard time reconciling how a loving God would let a child be born into the really hard stuff.  Really, what kind of God would do such a thing?

Some of us were born with behaviors that were normal to us, but to someone on the outside they are labeled as abnormal.

We didn't get to choose our design.

And yet, the Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God ordained  all the days for us before one of them came to be.  How does one reconcile that statement, especially the  part that says God ordained all the days of our lives when thus far, the days haven't been all that great?

Let's get rid of the word ordain and use a different word, one that is used in the Hebrew definition.

The Hebrew is yatsar - and the short definition is "formed."  Other words used to describe yatsar are fashion, formed, planned, potter.  It gives more a sense of design and creating like a potter making a beautiful vase, moulding it into a perfect form for a perfect use.

We, you and me, we are being formed by the hands of God, moulded into a beautiful vessel, placed where we are for the times we are in.  As His hands molded us as a potter holds soft clay in his hand, kneading and wetting it and placing it on a potter's wheel then placed in the kiln at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time, we are the vessel, designed by God.

So those painful days of your childhood when you wondered if anyone cared or those lonely days after your spouse left, never to return - those are the days formed for you forming you.  Those are the days the Potter already knew about and had already placed in His hands to mold into a beautiful vessel.

Maybe you feel like you are being kneaded a little too roughly, maybe you feel like the temperature of the kiln is hot enough thank you!

But the Potter, He's using the right amount of strength and water and heat to mold the vessel for its future use.  The Potter knows how long to knead the clay to get an even amount of moisture in the body of clay to make it more pliable, more moldable.  He knows how much air is in the clay that needs to be taken out so it can be shaped into the designated vessel.

The Potter knows how hot and how long the vessel needs to stay in the kiln to remove all the water from the clay so to strengthen and harden the permanent changes being made to the formerly unshaped clay form.  If the vessel isn't in the kiln long enough, it will not be able to serve the way it was designed.  It may crack, crumble, or just fall apart.  The decorations may cover the flaws but it will never serve well the purpose to which it was first designed.

I agree with you, it seems He likes to mould some of us a little bit longer than others.  Some of us seem to be in that kiln for more time than is necessary too.

But, do you want to be a broken or cracked or crumbling vessel, looking good on the outside but of no value for service?  Or would you rather see your life, your entire unchosen life as part of the Potter's gallery, not just to look at but to be used as it was intended all along?

Maybe when you were waiting for rescue as a child or crying those lonely tears night after night, God had His heart in your hand, moulding it, shaping it, giving it form to be a vessel of purpose.

That's where I choose to live.  That's where I choose to find my purpose and reason and the answers to the ceaseless whys.

Because.....God is the Potter of my heart and yours.

That's why.


Psalm 139

Photo by Rhonda Piper Photography

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