Brothers and sisters,
Have you ever tried sculpture? In any form, from a sculpture class, to a pottery wheel, to making a chubby little figure with Playdough?
Let me tell you, I am a TERRIBLE sculptor. Painting? Drawing? Dripping Wax? Completely natural to me, like walking. But sculpture? For some reason, when I try to sculpt something, the object I create, often out of clay, does not accurately describe what I see in my mind or what I see laying on a table in front of me. The only sculpture I have ever enjoyed is wire-art. This is different because you can see through and around the sculpture as you make it. You see the different perspectives.
Back to clay. I once had a class where we were given a bone from the local Natural History Museum and the task of rendering it with clay. Every time I thought I had mastered a curve, a weight distribution, a line, some nuance, I would step 30 degrees to the left and it would be completely wrong! Can you imagine the frustration? It took me three weeks, and I ended up with a mishapen, ruddy-green excuse for a femur.
I did the same thing for the first 24 years with my life. I tried to mold myself. I tried to look down at myself and push and pull myself in the direction that I thought was right given my perspective. But if I shifted a bit, I saw it was all wrong. If I was that bad at making a bone out of clay, you can imagine how bad I was at making something of myself.
Meet the Potter. He is past, present and future. From dust you came, and were made into clay. The clay and the potter are infinitely different, but the difference I stress today is this: where your perspective is a scratched snapshot of your life, the Potter’s perspective is complete in both time and space. He knows where you’ve been, where you are right. now. He knows where you will be. He says, “Can I not do with you Israel, as this potter does? Like clay in the hand of the potter, so you are in my hand, Israel.” -Jer 18:6.
Imagine clay running from your hands at the pottery wheel. You grab it and try to undo the damage it’s done to itself. You have to warm it back it up in your hands to make it malleable. You think, “This poor, naive clay. It can’t see what I see. It doesn’t know how BEAUTIFUL only I can make it.”
I have relented to the Potter, and I have seen the miracles He does. I was once a cold, unmovable, block, trying to carve out my ugliness by myself. I was tired. Beyond exhausted. Beyond discouraged. Then the Potter swooped in and I gave in to His grace. I let him move me, cut parts away, place me in the furnace, and take me back out to cool. God wants to make a beautiful thing of you. This much I know. Will you let Him?
There is SO MUCH beauty inside you. God can see every perspective, take it ALL into account, and use His love and His power to make you to be just the thing that He created you to be.
If I can share one thing with you, it is the incomparable, indescribable, unremovable, undeniable joy I feel when I know the Potter’s hands are at work on me.
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter, we are the work of your hand.” -Isaiah 64:8.