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.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Jeremiah 18: 3 – 10; ESV
In a conversation I recently had with my dear friend Tim, he was sharing about someone chipping away at a stone. I forget the basis of the conversation (because it was some time ago when we engaged in it), however, I remember what I thought of as he was sharing. In the mist of his discussion, I thought about how God, being the great Creator He is, could make a beautiful masterpiece out of that stone. I thought about Michelangelo’s statue of David and how it once was a large slab of marble; and to look at it today it is awe inspiring!
This leads me to this Scripture… the Potter. Just like Michelangelo, God takes something which has no value (in the eyes of some) and turns it into a beautiful masterpiece which becomes priceless! Even things which were meant for “common use” after time can and do become valuable collectibles. When we, as man, attempt to make ourselves something out of nothing, we often fail because we are not seeing with the master’s eyes and we are not using the master’s hands.
In the movie Ghost, Patrick Swayze’s character is with Demi Moore’s character sitting at this potter’s wheel. She has a lump of clay on the wheel which she tries to form into something; however, she keeps messing it up. Patrick’s character places her hands into his and guides her to create a thing of beauty. If we want to create a work of art with our lives, we must first allow the Master’s Hands guide us and show us how it is done.
How can we, as believers, become the masterpieces which God has envisioned for each of us? It is by allowing Him to chip away the stone; to remove the things which hide our beauty. This chipping away is NOT a comfortable event! In fact, it is often painful, time consuming, and a procedure which only the master carver can envision. Unlike the stone; we have choice. We can choose to allow God to sculpt us into fine art or not. We have the ability of being a vessel to be used to serve others or to let our own creation rule us. We might think ourselves capable of producing greatness (morally and spiritually speaking), and we would only fool ourselves. Only God can say what is spiritually right and what morality is. Man has proven their inability throughout the ages; and it seems to be spinning out of control in days of late.
The chipping away the stones, for instance, might mean to allow God to convict us of sin (according to HIS standards and not our understanding), to remove vices and addictions, to forfeit relationships which are unhealthy or in conflict with His will for our lives, and more importantly, understanding our own value in His eyes. We are too often too hard on ourselves and judge ourselves too strictly. We know our sins, our hidden secrets, and our desire to be self-serving. So does God. The Father does not focus on the dirt and imperfections which adorn the outer being; He sees the finished product of His love and He chips away the distractions from that vision.
Personally speaking, I am a work in progress. What I was, I am no longer. What I will become, I can now see within. If you were to tell me years ago that I would be this; I would have laughed. That is because I could not see beyond myself. Because of the work God has done and is continuing in me, I am beginning to see what my finished product will be. I eagerly await the day where I will become that vision God has for my life. Until that day comes, I will allow God to keep chipping away at my stone.
Please allow Your good works to be seen in me as I transform into Your vision. Also show others the masterpiece that awaits within them. May they be willing to allow You to transform their lives into a thing of beauty. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.