Jeremiah 18:1-4: Pottery Class! (please click here for todays Bible passage)

‘’…shaping it as seemed best to him.’’ (4b).

God has lessons for his people in ordinary things, if we will just go and see. Listen for His promptings today. Don’t miss what He might want to show you. In one chapter of his wonderful book, ‘The Sacred Year’, Michael Yankoski writes about lessons he learned whilst looking at an apple. The title of the chapter is: ‘’Single Tasking: The practice of attentiveness.’’ He says that we have so much information coming at us in this technological age that we are in danger of losing the ability to concentrate, to focus. ‘’This apple is beginning to speak, and I don’t want to miss a single word’’, he says. He quotes Thomas Moore: ‘’Spirituality is seeded, germinates, sprouts and blossoms in the mundane.’’

Here are three thoughts from today’s passage (and see also Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Rom.9:20, 21):

GOD IS SOVEREIGN: He has a plan for your life. His plans are good. Furthermore, His plans for you are more important (and better by far!) than your plans for you. He has the right to do with you whatever He pleases. Are you willing to take on His shape? ‘Give up your small ambitions.’ Let go of your perceived rights. ‘’There is simply no limit to the progress and development of the soul which is able to meet God with a never-faltering ‘’Yes’’ ‘’ F.B. Meyer.

IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR LIFE, GOD MAY CHANGE YOUR SHAPE: ‘’Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.’’ The Message. He might give you another role, a different job. You may not always be where you are now, doing what you are currently doing. Are you ready to change direction if your sovereign Lord chooses? He is the ‘God of surprises’. Gordon McDonald is a thoughtful and inspiring writer. One of his books is entitled ‘Mid-course correction.’ It’s well worth a read. In the middle of your life God may change your shape because you have sinned yourself into a bad shape. (The defect was in the clay and not in the Potter after all.) If that is so, it is good to know that no fall need be final. However, God may just decide to do something different with the same piece of clay because He is the Potter and it’s His right!

LIFE IS FRAGILE, BUT WE ARE SAFE IN GOD’S HANDS: When those ‘marring’ experiences come, as come they will, remember where you are and whose you are. You are out of shape, but you are still in the Hands of the Potter. Can you see Him ‘’working at the wheel’’ (3)? It is more important to be able to see God than your maimed life. When everything seems to be going wrong, keep your eyes on Him. Ron Jones was the General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal movement when I was the pastor of a little church in Lancaster. I remember him speaking at our church on this passage and admitting, ‘’It’s this wheel business I don’t like.’’ I want to be formed by God, but I don’t necessarily like what’s involved in the process.

‘’Note that a lump of clay has little value in itself, but when it has been made into something useful by the Master Potter, it has great value.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.1102’

Prayer: Sovereign and loving Lord, shape me as seems best to you.