Just a Lump of Clay

Good morning. It is Wednesday, June 23, 2021

I broke something very precious to me this morning. In my rush to get ready for work I swung my towel a little too wide and knocked a gift out of the windowsill. It shattered on the edge of my tub. A hundred pieces, easily. I just stood staring at it. It broke my heart.

You see, it was a gift from my mother. It was an “antique” perfume bottle, and it was beautiful. It stood about 3 ½ inches high. It was a pale see-through blue with gold bands around the neck. It had the old-style perfume bottle-stopper for applying perfume. It came to me empty, and I never used it. It just sat in my bathroom window, a forever reminder of my mom.

I could not bear to pick up the pieces. I left for work with them still scattered all over the bottom of my bathtub.

I read that the Japanese have a tradition where broken things are repaired with gold, or silver, so that the repaired object is even lovelier than the original.

I love that! The breakage and repair become an important part of the object’s history, rather than something to disguise. But there is no fixing this.

Jesus can take our brokenness and turn us into a shining light. He can give us a song and a testimony to share with the world. HE can fix what is broken!

Isaiah 64:8 ESV

“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand”

This is such an intimate look at our heavenly Father. Have you ever seen a potter at work? He, or she, has both hands on that lump of clay. They carefully begin applying pressure, lifting and squeezing at just the right time. Adding water when the clay becomes too dry. Constantly in motion. And although their pieces may look very similar, no two pieces are exactly alike.

If a piece begins to wobble and crack the potter will press the clay back together and start over again. He works quickly.

There comes a stage where the potter places the piece on a shelf to dry. Prior to this there was much activity. Finding the clay, perhaps cleaning the clay, forming the clay, spinning, but now it is time to wait. At this point the piece is very fragile. The drying is important. The waiting is critical. The piece will break if it is put in the kiln too soon. The heat would destroy it if it was not ready.

There have been times in my life where I felt God just put me on a shelf and forgot about me. But as the Master Potter, He knows exactly what He is doing. If He allows me to be put in the heat too soon, it will destroy me.

Jeremiah 18:1-4 ESV

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”

The Lord was making a point. And a great visual it was. He asks “can I not do with you as this potter has done?...Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand…”

Sometimes, like my lovely perfume bottle, we can be shattered to pieces. Life can take the beautiful piece that God has created and throw it to the ground.

One of my favorite songs, and yes, I have many favorites, is “Give Them All To Jesus”. The lyrics invite us to wrap up all the shattered dreams of our life and lay them at the feet of Jesus:

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows Are you tired of spinning round and round Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life And at the feet of Jesus lay them down Give them all Give them all Give them all to Jesus Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys Give them all Give them all Give them all to Jesus And he will turn your sorrows into joy He never said you'd only see sunshine He never said there'd be no rain He only promised us a heart full of singing That's the very thing that once brought pain I will go home this afternoon and clean up the mess. I will sweep up all those pieces and throw them in the trash can. I will remind myself that it is just ‘stuff.” I will remind myself that my treasure is in heaven.

Matthew 6:19-2 ESV

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If you are dealing with brokenness in your life. If you have dreams that have been shattered, give them to Jesus. He will turn your sorrow into joy!

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