A lump of clay . . .

Vol. 3, No. 37 – September 16, 2018
On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Romans 9:20

In the past, at Christmas, I have given serious thought to buying something of the pottery line for Donna. Did you know there are different kinds of pottery? They include bone china, porcelain, salt-glazed, and others. Some are reasonable in pricing; some – well I am not into financing clay!

Pottery is really any object fashioned from clay and hardened by fire. This is simplistic. Porcelain is pottery that is resonant when struck and translucent when held to the light. Strike it and hold it; I think I am resonant like porcelain, LOL.

Paul illustrates Israel’s plight in world history to the analogy of the potter and the clay. The potter at work today is not different from the potter in history; somewhere, today, a person is spinning the potter’s wheel producing a vessel or work of clay in the same historical manner.

I have a smart phone; sometimes it is a dumb phone (or at least its operator is). The thing about clay, however, is that it is always dumb and never very smart. Paul is not saying we are just a dumb lump of clay; powerless and speechless.

He is telling us that the potter’s plan as the divine architect is for each person He fashions to be a creative original; unique and varied. There is nothing stereotypical with God.

Yet, God is a sovereign God; we are as clay in His hands to be fashioned, shaped, and molded into whatever the Master Potter determines is appropriate (Jeremiah 18:1-12; 29:11-14).

One only needs a sudden sense of personal danger, the sharp shock of a serious accident, the foreboding of bitter loss, the unexpected but utter overthrow of some well-laid scheme that seemed assured of success to acknowledge that God is in charge and as Daniel said:

Blessed be the Name of God forever and ever, for He alone has all wisdom and all power (2:20-21)
World events are under His control; home events as well!

Christian, Christian Leader, here is a question for us: Are we today rejecting His touch, His plan, His design? Are we struggling with the heat in the kitchen? The furnace is opened and the pottery is brought out, and it has in that furnace gained two things:

• It has gained strength
• It has gained a beauty or color that is burned into it

God is The Potter; humankind is the clay. Man’s power of self-determination cannot interfere with the counsels of God’s providence; even the diurnal rotation of the earth on its axis is under His control.
In Florence, Italy is a statue which once was found broken into more than a thousand pieces. One patient man with a rare skill picked up the shattered fragments and restored what was broken into its intended beauty.

Not only can our Master Potter shape, mold, and fashion – He can pick up our broken pieces of life and mend them to be what He always intended for us to be!

God, The Potter can pick up our broken lives lived in a broken world; what many would say needs to go to the rubbish heap, and mold that life, through His reconciliation, into a life of beauty as He always intended it to be.

He does this every day; He wants to do it for everyone He has created . . . today!

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

September 16, 2018

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