Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remaining mailable

Today Jeremiah provide a different metaphor, the image of the potter and the clay. The Lord said to Jeremiah,

like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

The book of Genesis tells us that God took the earth (adamah) and formed it into a adam (person) and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. But Jeremiah reminds us of something we can forget. God forming us is not a one time process. God can constantly remake us.

Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.

We can be 70 or 80 years old, and the potter can still make of us another object of whatever sort he pleases. Until the moment when we draw our last breath, he can make of us another object of whatever sort he pleases.

There is only one catch. We must remain mailable, and unlike clay we have a choice. We can become hardened in the kiln of our own hearts. God has given us the freedom to choose to step out of the potters hands. How many people talk about shaping their own life, shaping their own destiny? In the US, we talk about it as if it were a virtue. There is no virtue in removing ourselves from the hands of the potter.

The real virtue is the opposite, and it requires great discipline: to remain every moment of every day in the hands of the potter allowing him to constantly mold us and shape us, adapt us to perfectly fit whatever situation. One moment we may need to be the silent listener, another the prophet. One moment we need to be a gentle lamb, another the lion. To every thing there is a season.

As we go through the day, let pray that in each situation God will reshape us into exactly what is needed.