Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Potter and the Clay

Isaiah 64:8

Yet, O Lord, you are the Father,

We are the clay, you are the potter;

we are all the work of your hand.

I'm returning temporarily because my heart and mind are so full of what God has shown me this past weekend. This stuff is too good to not put out here. God is so faithful and he has put my focus back to the right place.
I attended our Women's Retreat for Central this past weekend and boy did God prepare me for what was revealed. All the trials I've been thru and decluttering God is doing in my life has set the stage for me to receive so much out of the beautiful message of the Potter and the Clay.
The speaker for the weekend is a real potter who has her own pottery business, but uses her talent also as offering to God, as she travels around and teaches church groups about all of the amazing parallels between how a piece of pottery is made vs. how God, our own potter in our lives, molds and makes us in our daily lives here on earth.

This is a lot of the meat that the Lord gave us to chew on and live out this past weekend:

-God wants to re-work us over and over until He is pleased. That is the forgiveness of God. And also the way God continues to keep us useful for his kingdom. He is a God who gives us endless chances to be surrendered into His hands so that He can shape and then re-shape us into His purpose.

-Clay can be re-molded many times before it is put in the fire for the final step before it becomes an actual pitcher or bowl to be usable, or whatever it is shaped into. Yet, the more clay is re-worked, the more moldable it is before it is made into use. The more God remolds us and reworks us, the more moldable we become, therefore He can work into our lives more effectively. It's all about surrender.

-While our speaker was talking in each session, she was always up there creating a piece of pottery. A piece of clay has to be perfectly centered on the wheel to be shaped right. One question is, how centered are we in our relationship with God?

-As she asked this, she would then shape the lump of clay into a beautiful shaped pitcher. But obviously, she didn't have the time or resources with her to make us a finished product. So, she would crush and re-knead the same piece of clay, and then create a new shape. We would cringe when she would crush the clay pitcher or whatever she had made because it was so beautiful, yet she made the point that we get so attached to being a certain way or having certain things so quickly, that we have such a hard time surrendering ourselves or our things to God, so that he can reshape us for use in a new chapter of our lives. That was a biggy for me.

-There is importance in the waiting for a piece of clay to be ready before you put through the fire or kiln. If it is put through that too soon, it will explode into a million pieces. Sometimes in our lives, we jump into something too soon before we sit and wait on God to show us where he wants us. It's the being still and waiting on the Lord that this society is so bad at. How many of us just barrel forward into a position that God never intended for us to be in and then we burn out or even explode over and over and therefore become useless.

-We are broken vessels because of sin in our lives. But praise the Lord Jesus that he has put the pieces back together through his love, patience, and sacrfice. He has made perfection out of something so imperfect. Something we could never do on our own.

-We fall into the temptation of comparing ourselves to others. We are a "bowl" or a "vase" when we wish we were a "pitcher". But God made us the way he made us, and we have to ask the Lord how he wants to use us.

-Pottery is made to be used. Some people buy pottery and display it on a mantle. But the true intention of it is that it should be used. The potter said that she likes to see her pottery being used for a purpose, not to be just displayed on a shelf. God didn't make us the way he did so we can just sit and look pretty or be displayed on a pew but not be used. But we also need to make sure we aren't trying to "be a bowl full of candy" when God wants us to "pour out like a pitcher".

-Last but not least, it is the pain of the fire that changes our character, so we can actually be used. A clay molded into something but not put in the fire is useless. Some people rather just be a lump of clay their whole lives and sit in a church pew every Sunday, but are not willing to go through fiery trials to build their character and then be usable. Sometimes God has allowed us to become a lump of clay again though so he can have a place to start over and re-shape us into His image and use us for his service. We just have to be willing to let him complete what He has started.

1 comment:

More Than Conquerors said...

I know you already shared all this with me... I just think its great.

Love you darlin.