Do you ever feel like a child who needs to be told something many times before it becomes ingrained in your mind? I know I do. Lately, the image of the potter and the clay, from Jeremiah, has kept popping up in my life. First, in my devotional book, then in an online conference, and finally in another book that I am reading, It's Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst.
I can hear/read something once, think, "Wow, that is a beautiful picture or lesson; I need to apply that to my life in this way or that way," but then I go on with my day and forget what I read that morning. Or sometimes, I completely breeze past what God is trying to tell me and totally miss the "wow" moment the first time around. But when the same image comes up at least three separate times, "Okay, God, you have my attention, I'm listening."
Maybe it shouldn't take more than once to listen and pay attention, but sometimes it does, and in my opinion, that's okay. It is another way to see God's faithfulness and persistence played out in my life. He wants His children to learn and grow closer to Him, and if that takes hearing the same thing multiple times, He's going to be patient and show up until we are fully receptive. The comfort of His persistence comes in knowing that God won't leave just because of a short attention span. He is patient and will continue to pursue us.
Jeremiah 18:6 - "...Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…"
One of the messages that I keep hearing from this part of scripture is the importance of letting God mold me and shape me in the way that He sees is best. To let go of my death grip on the wheel, to release my need to feel in control and become malleable in His hands. It can be so hard for us, as humans, to let go of that control sometimes. Perhaps some of that is our own fear of the unknown. We do not know what God has planned for our
Isaiah 46:3-4 "Listen to me...you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray
Another reason I believe that people don't succumb to being molded is the fear that they are too broken to be turned into something beautiful: they fear that they have too many cracks, too many wounds, too many past mistakes, or simply that they are just too much to handle, so they hide. Fortunately, that is not the case. In the words of Beth Moore, in her Whispers of Hope devotional, "As the Divine Potter, God introduced Himself vividly to the children of Israel as the God of second chances--the One who could take the marred, broken lump of clay and reshape it into something beautiful and useful" (emphasis added). Is that not the most wonderful news? God can turn our broken into beautiful and He can use our shattered pieces, our lumps of clay, to mold something stronger. My hope is that the frequency in which I let God mold me, the frequency in which I trust God's plan for my life, increases and that the frequency in which I turn to control and fear decreases. I pray that to be true in my life as well as yours, knowing that it is a process and won't be perfect.