Monthly Archives: April 2013

Potter’s Clay

Usually I reserve this website, DuaneVasquez.WordPress.com, for articles that include extensive discussions of Biblical principles as they apply to broad social issues. I try to avoid clever stories and personal insights. Today I will make an exception.
Sunday morning Pastor Vines preached a sermon based on a passage in Jeremiah about God’s sovereignty over our lives. In the passage, God tells Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house. Jeremiah watches as the potter works the clay on the potter’s wheel. The potter tries to make a pot, but it is not coming out right. So the potter smashes down the clay repeatedly until it is more malleable. Then he throws it back on the potter’s wheel and begins again. He repeats this process until he has created the pot he intends.
In the passage God asks Jeremiah, “Does the clay say to the potter, I don’t like how you have formed me?” It is a rhetorical question. It is ridiculous to think that the clay has any say as to what it will become. The potter has total control; he will mold the clay into anything that he wants. If the potter needs to destroy his creation and begin again, he will. It is his prerogative to work the clay in any way he sees fit.
The true message is not about potters and clay; it is about God and the nation of Israel. God has been trying to form the nation of Israel to be an example of how a nation should follow God and receive His blessing, but they refuse to cooperate. God is about to smash Israel and utterly destroy them only to reform them at a future time.
The same is true of us. If we are Christians we have place ourselves into God’s hands to care for us and to mold us as He sees fit. If necessary He may need to smash us and pound on us to make us more malleable until we yield to His hands.
At the beginning of the service we were each given a small piece of clay. At the end of the service we were encouraged to take the clay and mold it in any way we wanted; it could be just squeezing it in our fist or placing a thumb print into it. Then we were asked to place it into a pot, symbolizing that we were turning ourselves over to God for Him to mold and shape us.
So I took my clay and was going to do something simple. I was just going to put my index finger print into the clay and put it in the pot. As I went to press on the clay it would crack. I tried and tried to get my clay to mold into something—anything. It would continue to break. I got increasingly frustrated, why couldn’t they give me some clay that is the right consistency? Finally I had an idea. I took my clay to the drinking fountain and dribbled a little water on it. Then I began to work the clay. It did soften a little bit, but in the process my hands became all muddy. Well this wasn’t working at all. Finally I realized that I was working too hard. I wanted so much to make something of my clay; just something to mark it as mine; a fingerprint that was my stamp of ownership. I was unwilling to give God my clay as it was with all of its imperfections. I wanted to leave some mark of myself on it rather than it to be wholly His. Was I willing to let Him form it so that it showed only Him rather than me?
Finally I took the formless clump of mud that I had created and put it into the pot for God to fix and form the way He wants. Then I cleaned the mud off my hands.

Born Blind

I was blind from birth. I never saw the sun shining on a grassy meadow. I never saw light shimmering on a lake. I heard my mother’s voice and felt her gentle touch, but I never saw her face.
I always felt that God was unfair; that somehow He didn’t love me. I thought of all the things I could not see and all the things I could not do.
Then one day it all changed. A man came to town. He spoke to me. He knew my name. He held my face in His hands and touched my eyes. Suddenly I could see, and I looked into the face of Jesus. It is the most beautiful and loving sight that I could ever imagine. That image is forever etched into my soul.
Since that time I have traveled the world, taking in all of the sights. Everywhere I go, I tell of the love that God has for me. I try to show the people Jesus, but they won’t look. They are so distracted. Long ago they focused their attention on the things of this world and they won’t release their gaze long enough to look to Jesus. They just don’t see what they are missing.
I thank God every day that I was born blind, so I could see Jesus.