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. | Jeremiah 18: 3-4
The vessel the potter was making was spoiled.
What do we do in the same instance?
When something we’re working
on breaks or spoils?
- Throw it away?
- Start all over?
- Ignore it and keep on working on the broken thing?
- “It’s a lost cause” / give up?
The potter, however, reworked it into another vessel:
- The original plan he could see would not work
- But he wasn’t going to waste the material he had—he still had moldable clay
But why not just throw it away?
As it seemed good to the potter to do.
And how does the potter know what is good?
- He is the creator
- He has intimate knowledge of his materials
- He’s not just a one trick pony
- He can take the brokenness and make it beautiful
What do we do when we mess up and sin? Do we assume God can’t still use us?
He is the Master Potter, indeed.
Yes, but my sin is just too much. There’s no coming back from this. I don’t deserve to…
Well, newsflash, no one deserves to. We deserve eternal separation from God, but that is not what we have to look forward to. Why? Well, if we accept that Christ took on that separation, the wrath of God for our sins, once and for all, we can commune with our holy God. Not because of our righteousness, but because of Christ’s work on the cross.
Our sins don’t disqualify us from being used by God,
just as our good works don’t save us.
Our mistakes and pitfalls don’t ruin our testimony; they are the testimony. We rejoice and testify to our sins forgiven.
Like the potter, we have a choice to make when things don’t go right. Do we say, forget it, I’m done, or do we turn it into something else, something beautiful?
From God’s perspective, we are His clay. He shapes us and fashions us with incredible care. Should He just give up on us when we mess up? Are we done for, no longer useful for the LORD? I know I’m prone to believe that. Well, when the truth is hard to remember and lies seem more believable, let’s look at the Word to see precedent, to see God’s character. What does He do with people who mess up?
- Moses, the murderer and the one who led Israel out of Egypt
- or David, the murderer, adulterer and a man after God’s own heart
Or one of my favorites, the woman at the well. By the standard of the law, she was an adulterer. She was out for the count. I mean if God wanted to reach Samaria, why not use someone who the people respected? Instead, Jesus decides to talk to the woman who fetches water at the heat of noon to avoid all the townspeople. Her life was not one worth emulating. The vessel was spoiled, and sin spoiled it.
But she came, looking for water. And when she received the water, the real Water the broken vessel needed to be transformed, she left her water jar. What did she really need?
And then, did she just go on her merry way? Was she simply happy to know she encountered the Messiah?
She ran back to the village, to the same people she was trying to avoid to share news of the Savior. Her heart change led to action. God changed the vessel as He saw it was good to do. An ashamed young woman became a bold, young woman, an evangelist. All that was needed was the willingness to add living water. “Sir, give me this water…”
The Living Water. That’s what made all the difference to the vessel, to the clay.
There are plenty of excuses we could use:
- Our sin is too big.
- Our sin is too small.
We are the classically good girl or boy. We don’t have any crazy testimony to share of how God changed us. If so, praise God that He has shielded you from the dire consequences and pain of sin.
But take heart,
we are all broken vessels.
We were all messed up clay.
Not one was good. Any goodness we see is Christ in us. So no matter what stage of life we’re in, remember that as clay vessels—sometimes we break, crack, etc… Do we give in? Do we take the loss and move on OR do we let the Potter work? To do what He knows is good because He knows the clay so well.