And this post would not be here now except I have finally given up on finding what I was looking for to go with this. So, I'm posting without it because it's something that has been on my mind and I need to share.
The last several weeks at church the sermon series has been on...stewardship. I know, I know...so many of you (non-BBCers) are rolling your eyes now because who does that guilt-'em-till-they-give sermon better than us Baptists!? But this has been different. The series is titled "His." and it has been great! It has really put into perspective what all we have that belongs to Him. Not just our money, but our stuff.
So, in our small group time, our leader was talking about when he was a young person, seeing a potter come demonstrate the making of a clay pot. He told how the potter would spin the wheel so fast and throw water on the lump of clay and how he would beat this clay to mold it the way it needed to go. And at times, the potter would even tear off a big chunk of clay and throw it off to the side. Obviously, there was too much clay for what it was going to be made in to.
When I was in art class in high school, we had the opportunity to work with clay and let me tell you, it is NOT as easy as these folks make it look. The clay is really hard and it does take strength to mold it. And one wrong move with your hands can cause the clay to collapse on itself. I remember I was going to make a vase becase it couldn't be that hard. But it WAS hard. The clay was unruly and hard to mold...every time I tried to form it into the shape I wanted, one side would fall in. When I added too much water and it slung all over the place and made a huge mess of the piece because if you don't know, this job is MESSY!
It's no wonder why there are so many references in the Bible to God being the Potter and us being the clay. How often do we try to take the position of the potter with our own lives. We try to mold ourselves into what WE think we should be. We add too much "water" and generally make a huge mess of our lives. Why do we do that? Well, because it sometimes hurts when the Potter gets hold of us. It feels like we are being beaten down...ripped apart. But the Potter sees the whole picture...what the finished product is going to be. He knows when there's too much of us and some needs to be broken off. He knows exactly how much water to add and where to place His hands on our lives. And in the end, what started as nothing more than a lump of hard, unruly, ugly clay...
"And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand."