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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Resting on the Potter’s Wheel

Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.  (3)  Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  (4)  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Jeremiah 18:2-4 

God sent Jeremiah to the potter’s house for an object lesson. As he watches the potter forms a vessel on the wheel. For one reason or another the potter decides this clay or vessel is not right. He crumples the clay and begins a new vessel. God’s object for Jeremiah was about the clay. Did the clay have any right or say as to what kind of vessel it would be? The design of the vessel is entirely up to the potter.  Israel is the clay. We are the clay.

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  (21)  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  (22)  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:  (23)  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Romans 9:20-23 

Several years ago God showed me a picture of me being the lump of clay. Not only was I uncertain God knew what he was doing in shaping me, I was at times crawling right off the wheel! Even more ridiculous sometimes was asking what he intended me to be and was trying to stretch and shape myself into the vessel he could use. This is so foolish. I cannot change myself. I have tried- really hard sometimes. I admire those who can make decision to change and really follow through. I too often am not one of those people. I change so slowly it’s maddening, mainly to me. The trouble is God has not asked me to change. He has asked me to allow him to change me. This is why I need to learn to rest.
In God’s shaping me there is sure to be carving as well as gentle shaping. The more I rest the more gentle he can be. If I have let it go it will not have to be pried from my hands when the testing comes. If I rest in the center of his loving will as a lump of clay rests in the center of the potter’s wheel the shaping will be easier. I will value what he values, love what he loves.
The clay must be centered and balanced before a vessel can be made on a wheel. This takes some effort.  Being centered in God’s will takes effort. It means learning his words and thoughts better than my own. It takes resting in his design instead of striving to create my own. This is hard when I cannot see his design the way I want to. I think like the clay I cannot rest until I am centered on God. He must be my focus. I must rest in him, not in his plan or design. He is good so his plan is good, even when I can’t comprehend it.
Pottery too, must be tested before it is fit for lasting use. If the clay is not fired it can always be made back into clay. It is the firing that turns it from clay to pottery, a useful vessel. It takes great trust to rest through the fire. Trusting God is always good, faithful and true. Trusting that he knows what he is doing. Trusting he can turn even this into something for my good and his glory. Sometimes I have done this; losing my son and carbon monoxide poisoning. Sometimes, more in day to day life, I have not. It’s like I know some stuff is too big for me so I’ll give it to God easily. The stuff that seems it should be my size I try to manage myself, when he has promised me rest and rich supplies of all I need to accomplish every good work.
I’m placing myself in the center of the potter’s wheel to be transformed, to rest.

Question: How fully do you trust God?
Challenge: Ask God to reveal to you how centered on him your life is.

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