Identity Found in God
The Potter and The Clay
~ The Potter
~ The Clay
~ The Idea
~ The Plan
~ The Refining Fire
~ The Reshaped Pot
~ Living as His Clay Pot
Living as His Clay Pot
“But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”
One evening I was getting ready to prepare dinner. In order to make what I had in mind, I had to wash out a pot that was used the night before to cook dinner. (Yes, I realize that this honesty risks judgement on our kitchen clean-up – or lack thereof!) The night before, the pot was used to hold ingredients I put together to make soup. This particular evening I wanted to use the pot to boil spaghetti noodles. As I was cooking the noodles some thoughts went through my mind. What if I am the pot that I just described? If my Potter wanted to use me to make soup, I trust that the shape and texture and characteristics I have are suitable to accomplish the task. So, I’m used to make soup. Chili soup. Broccoli and cheese soup. Chicken noodle soup. All kinds of soup. I got this!
But one day, when I am being washed clean, (there’s a whole analogy in that too…) I realize that it’s not soup that I’m being asked to hold. Wait! What’s going on? You’re using me to make what? Spaghetti? Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Maybe we should talk about this? I’m a soup pot. I don’t know about this spaghetti stuff!
I wonder if sometimes we don’t comprehend the valuable, usable vessels we are. I wonder if we put limits on what God has in mind for us to be? Living as His clay pot, His masterpiece, are we open to the possibilities of ALL the good works He has planned in advance for us to do? Or do we just get caught in a rut, a comfortable pot for soup?
The challenge for us as His clay pots is to rest ourselves in His hands, continually waiting for Him to reveal the way He will use us. Maybe we are in a season when we are used for soup, but what if He introduces a new way to be used? Would you be open to giving spaghetti a try? What if God needed to use His pot for a different recipe? Can you have faith to trust Him, to take a risk and step with Him into being used as a vessel for His plans? He would not ask you to be anything He didn’t know you could be. When you feel that nudge, surrender and obey. When He plants things in your mind to consider, don’t look away. Grab a hold of His hand and enter the work with Him. He will never leave you or forsake you.
Romans 9:20-21 sums this up: “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”
Another caution to consider as we explore what kind of pot we are is to not look around at other pots. How often do we see a friend or family member, or neighbor, or even a stranger and think, “Why can’t I be a pot like them? Why can’t I be used in the way they are?” Oh, the destruction jealousy can bring forth! Recall the interaction between Jesus and Peter after the resurrection. In John 21:15-19 Jesus beautifully shares an intimate time with Peter, and prepares him for the kind of life that is ahead for him. Verse 18-19 says, “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.” I’m pretty sure this caused a bit of anxiety in Peter. Peter’s response is described in verses 20-21 where he looks around and sees another disciple and quickly turns the attention away from himself and to the other guy saying to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus’ reply? Well, basically he told Peter it’s really none of his business! “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? YOU must follow me.” OUCH! You see, when we get caught up into exploring other people’s pots, we miss out on an intimate opportunity the potter wants to have with just us. Understand that God has something in mind specifically and purposefully just for you.
May you recognize who your Potter is. May you, as clay, yield to His hands that mold, plan, create, refine, reshape and unveil the use of the beautiful pot He has made in you. What kind of pot are you sensing God is asking you to become? What fears or inflexibility do you need
to surrender to your Potter?