Spiritually Speaking – October 2021
“Just like the clay in the potter’s hands, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:6
“God Never Gives Up on You!”
In the 18th chapter of Jeremiah, Jeremiah is told by God to go down to the potter’s house and watch what’s going on. Jeremiah had no idea why God wanted him to do that, but he obeyed just the same. What he saw was the potter standing there…holding a lump of clay in his hands – and working with it.
Apparently he had shaped it into something before, but it didn’t turn out like the potter had hoped. So, now he was reworking that lump of clay, massaging it in his hands again, and doing something else with it. Then it was that Jeremiah heard the Lord speaking to him again.
“Just like the clay in the potter’s hands,” said the Lord to Jeremiah, “so are you in my hand.”
He meant that God takes the clay from each one of our lives and continues to work with it until he gets it just right. That means that God never gives up on any one of us. We are all like a lump of clay in God’s hands…a work in progress.
Just because we hit a snag in our lives, just because we do something that distorts who we are, is no reason for us to give up and throw in the towel…to resign from life.
It’s amazing what God can do with an imperfect piece of clay. It’s also amazing what God can do with your life and mine when we hit a snag and no longer reflect God’s glory.
Recently I read a story about a young guy up in Cody, Wyoming back in 1949. He developed quite a reputation in that community – and not a good reputation at all. He was a very rebellious teenager.
One day he stole a 22-caliber rifle from a hardware store in Cody and took off on a shooting rampage. He wasn’t shooting at people, but he was shooting at mailboxes and getting a kick out of seeing them messed up. He was arrested and taken to jail. He then became known as the “Mailbox Kid” all over the state of Wyoming.
However, that man is 71-years old today, and his name is Senator Alan Simpson. He has been a delightful guy in our government for years. But what if he had concluded that his mold had been cast back in 1949 when he was a rebellious teenager?
There was also another person who’s life wasn’t very promising a few years ago. He had a really big and bad problem with alcohol, and it was tearing up his life in some major ways. In 1995, he was involved in a horrible automobile accident that almost took his life. That event could have taken his life in either one of two directions. It could have confirmed for him that he was a worthless and hopeless alcoholic who would one day kill himself – or it could have waked him up to getting the help he needed. Fortunately, he asked for help.
He realized that he needed to put that part of his life in the past. He knew that he needed to go through a major overhaul and get the help he needed. Today he’s a very promising young player on the PGA Tour. His name is Hank Kuehne.
Maybe you’ve experienced something in your life that’s taken the wind out of your sails. Maybe you’ve gone through something that’s hurt you deeply and caused you to put your life on hold.
God didn’t create us to come to a difficult point in our lives and have that become the termination point. Instead, God takes the clay stuff of each one of our lives and begins to work with it once again. He molds us and shapes us and fashions us in his own hands until – finally – he makes “something beautiful and something good.”
I wonder what God is trying to do in your life and mine this morning.
Never, never, never should we give up on ourselves; because never, never, never does God give up on any one of us. He holds the clay of your life and my life in his own hands; and he’s always working with that clay.
There’s no telling what he might do with each one of us, regardless of what snag we might have hit or what mess we might have made. If we’ll just cooperate with Him a little bit, He can make of us “something beautiful, something good.”
The Reverend Dr. Norman Neaves
Church of the Servant – Oklahoma City, OK
August 17, 2003