Friday, March 25, 2011
I Am the Clay...
A potter who throws clay on a pottery wheel sometimes has no idea what he is about to build, but he takes a big, shapeless glob of clay and throws it onto the center of the wheel knowing that with the work of his hands and some manipulation he will eventually come out with something...a vase, a bowl, a cup...many possibilities. It is all about the skill of the potter and the temperament of the clay.
The Word tells us in Isaiah 64:8, "Yet O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay; You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand." I have never identified more with clay in my entire life than I do right this minute! I envision God, the Potter, sitting at the wheel, with me as the shapeless glob of clay spinning out of control with no structure...spinning, spinning, spinning - no real direction or purpose. Then the Lord sets His loving hands upon me, firm but gentle. No longer spinning aimlessly and out of control, the rough edges begin to smooth out. As I begin to take shape with a solid foundation and a bit of structure, He releases the firm grip and exchanges it with the loving touch of His finger in the center as if pointing to the core of me to say, "You are mine and you will be formed to serve my purposes." With His finger touching on the center and the core being exposed, the junk that is inside has no place else to go but to be purged out.
Until very recently, I lost my direction. I lost my drive. I lost my purpose. Well...I guess I didn't lose them...I just kind of set them aside in my exhaustion from fighting against my new life. The first year after Jay died was a breeze compared to this second year. Last Summer, in the beginning of the second year, my grief seemed to really take hold of me and I was filled with feelings of being lost, not belonging anywhere, going through the motions of my new life but not really living my life. I was trying to give glory to the Lord, but I don't know that it was all truly felt in my heart.
I basically was angry with God that I had to start my life all over again and try to figure out who I am if I'm not "Jay's wife." I spent literally half of my life with this man and now I have to try and figure out what to do in this life on my own. Who the heck am I? Yes, I am a child of God...but if you feel lost and without a sense of purpose, what do you do with that? Well, the Lord has been busy showing me what being a child of God really means.
It means that when I fall apart, walk away, and give up on myself - He is there with endless love and compassion just waiting for me to make the decision to return to Him for my comfort and rebuilding.
Jeremiah 18:4 says, "The pot he [the potter] was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the Lord. Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel."
Every time I do something to change the depth, the shape, the structure of our relationship - He is faithful to take me down to the foundation of my being, Jesus Christ - who saved me from my sins, and remind me that I am loved no matter what I do and once I take hold of His promises again, He begins to rebuild on that foundation.
I am in the rebuilding stage now. I have returned to Him for my comfort; and I am realizing...again...that He truly does love me and just because I was angry with Him doesn't mean that He is looking at me with condemnation (that's from the enemy), but rather, He is looking at me with loving eyes saying, "I will rebuild you from scratch with My own hands."And maybe who I will be is somebody different from who I was before, but if God can restore Job after all that he went through and not only restore him but create a better life for him than he had before - I'm totally on board with that and trusting Him to do just that for me!
So while an earthly potter looks at the clay and doesn't know exactly what he will come out with in the end; our heavenly Potter knows, even before He begins, what masterpiece will stand before Him when His work is done.
His work in me is far from being done, but I am beginning to see some changes. The spark has been ignited and He is fanning the flame. I long to spend time with the Lord, learning about Him, and I am seeking to be about His business again. He has given me the desire to serve Him with the gifts I have been blessed with. My heart is beginning to actually feel again and open up. He is using me to encourage people through their trials, which is what I have always loved to do!
And He has given me something to write about again. It's difficult to write about these things that don't necessarily shed a great light on me or my selfish behavior, but the glory belongs to the Lord for what He will accomplish through this.
The rebuilding and restoration has begun. This is just the first phase...stay tuned...