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He Made It Again

In first grade, our art teacher gave us the project to make a gift for our parents out of clay.
We were to form it into the shape we desired it to be and then she would place it in the very hot kiln to harden into pottery. Finishing touches were made to our gifts days later, as each child carefully painted their piece in an assortment of colors.
I decided to make my mom an ashtray. 

Now, I know my mom, and she will be mortified that I am even writing this, but let me say, she no longer smokes. I am so proud of her for quitting. So, go Mom!
But at the time, I thought she would like nothing more than an ashtray so that she could use it daily and think of me.
I can still see the present being held in her hand.
It was a disaster. I mean, really, even for a first grader it was very clear that the arts were not my strong point.
It could have been a bowl, a shallow vase, a funky tile, who really knew. The colors all bled together and there were lumps all throughout the pottery.
But in her hands, it looked beautiful.
It represented love, patience, and care. It held a memory, a space in time that would forever be a part of her. If you ask her today, yes, she still has that ugly old thing.
But as I think about that gift, I think of the story in Jeremiah about the potter and his vessel.
God told Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house and He would reveal something to him.
As he watched the potter form the clay, an amazing thing would happen when he found an imperfection. You know what he did?
  He made it again. 
He crushed that clay, formed it into a new ball, and began the process of shaping, cutting, and molding his creation anew.
We are like that clay. 
So many times I have looked back on my life and realized how much I have seen and known at just the age of 33. I’ve lived a long life already and carry so many scars, both physically and emotionally.
I’m marred and imperfect.
But I’m reminded at what the book of Jeremiah says.
“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred IN HIS HANDS…”

The whole time the “hot mess of a vessel” was marred and incomplete, it was in the potter’s hands.
That means, through it all I have not been alone.
 I have never been out of His control.
Some difficulties were self-inflicted, while others were out of my power. But no matter how those marred lines and jagged edges got there, God holds me up and molds me to perfection.
He continually makes me better, more beautiful, more adequate for His use.
You don’t ever hear about the clay standing up and saying, “You are not doing this right, Maker. Let me have a go.”
It’s a silly, dumb thought, but how often do I try to take control and fix myself?
I don’t desire to be a cracked, useless vessel.
I want to be used for exactly what I am intended to be used for.
Only the Maker knows what that is. So I must allow Him to smooth my edges, put on some pressure to form me, and wreck me again and again until I am just right.
I won’t be perfect this side of heaven. Right now, I’m in the building process. We all are. And the more I remind myself of this, the easier the pressure will be when it comes.
 God is making me.
 God is molding me.
 I am in His hands. 
One day, in heaven, I truly believe we will get to “see” the process and understand each pinch, poke, spin, press, and squash.
Until that day, may I remember that this pressure I am feeling is for my good. Because God is always, always good. And He knows what a beautiful vessel I will become.
Posted January 26, 2017

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