Marred can become Magnificent - underneath the hands of the potter.
I like this pot. It's rough and rustic with several chips and imperfections, but to me - it's perfect.
The story of the potter from Jeremiah 18: 3-6 is an amazing story. God told Jeremiah to go down to the potter’s house because He was going to show him something important. When Jeremiah got there he saw the potter working at the pottery wheel. As Jeremiah watched, the pot he was trying to form began to be mis-sharpened and "marred" (vs 4) or disfigured. To Jeremiah it looked like the potter had made a mistake and now the pot he was working with was unusable.
But watching the potter, he didn’t stop. The didn't get upset and throw the clay on the ground, starting over with a brand new lump. He didn't get frustrated because the clay didn't do what he wanted it to do. And he didn't give up on creating a masterpiece with the clay that he was working with. The potter gently took the damaged pot, gently crushed it down on the wheel and began forming it again - creaing something new - something that he thought was best. It was then that God spoke to Jeremiah and told him that ‘like clay in the hand of the potter – so are you in my hand’.
There are many synonyms for the word “mar”. It can mean spoiled, blemished, scarred, damaged, harmed, and hurt. Those fit me. Those words fit all of us at some point in our lives.
But God’s promise to Jeremiah and His promise to us? To do as the potter.
Without condemnation, he gently crushed the clay back down – kneading out the imperfections – piecing together the torn parts and the gaps that may have formed in the damaged pot. He added water and pushed it down to form a new pliable lump of clay as it had, for some reason, become misshaped. As He reformed the vessel - the potter’s feet never stopped turning the wheel and His hands never left the clay. There was a gentle strength in His fingertips and He was always touching the pot – hovering close by - gently coaxing it into shape - never once leaving it alone on the potter’s wheel. Water was always close by to soften the clay when it was dry, became parched and brittle – to be fed and forgiven and worked with his hands. But the clay had to be pliable – give up control underneath the skill of the potter’s hands. It had to go the way the potter planned in His mind –and shaped as the potter purposed in His heart – in the way the potter thought was best.
That’s what God has done for me. That marred pot is my life.
Sometimes if the pot or your life has become mis-shapened or hurt He has to break you before He forms something new. But God’s gentle touch is always close. The wheel of His purpose never stops. His eye is always upon us. He is faithful to redeem, reform and reshape us into something He feels is best. And if we remain pliable, He will use our damaged lives for His purpose.
My prayer today is:
Father God continue to redeem the years – restore the clay and reform our lives into something You think is best. Our lives are like the marred clay pot but You are our potter. Mold me – knead me – and keep me pliable enough to use. Use the imperfections and the scars as You think best. Even a scar can become something beautiful.
Create something useful - something wonderful. I am just the clay.
I do adore You. Amen.