In the Hands of the Potter

I’ve recently encountered circumstances that have made me come face to face with things that I don’t like in myself. Perhaps it’s being in a new house church surrounded by new friends that has made me strikingly aware of the impressions I am making. I’ve seen these things in myself before. And I always assumed that if I am displeased with myself, how much more is my Heavenly Father displeased?

I think I would probably prefer that the Lord just make me into a little clone of Jesus. It’s hard to imagine the Creator of the universe formed and fashioned me – uniquely – to worship Him. I find myself wanting to love Him like others do. I have the privilege of walking with some amazing women of God and I often think to myself, “If only I could be like her. I want the sweet, encouraging spirit of Hollie. I want the hospitality of Deb. I want the steadfastness of Lauren.” There are so many beautiful traits in the women around me that I wish I had. I’m constantly comparing myself to others and seeing ways that I just don’t measure up.

I was recently praying about this part of who I am that I don’t particularly like. It’s a part of my personality where it seems most of my problems, struggles and temptations stem from. Once again, I found myself pleading with the Lord, “Please, take this away! I don’t want to be this way anymore. I don’t want to be this person! I don’t like who I am.” In that moment, God spoke to my heart saying,

Who are you to say to me, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ I made you this way for a reason. I am not going to take it away. I am going to redeem you.” 

For years my friends and family have reminded me that this part of who I am is both a weakness and a strength. However, it is only a strength when submitted to the Lord. Those reminders have consistently gone in  one ear and out the other. That’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted someone to help me pray it away. Because all I could see were the glaring weaknesses this brought to my life. All I saw was imperfection and I just wanted Him to cut it out. That’s the easy way, right? Just start over? For years now I have wrestled with God over this; never understanding why it wouldn’t just go away and wondering how I was failing in my pleading prayers. I was unyielding in my desire to see it gone.

The pressure of the Potters hand

As soon as the Lord spoke to my heart I saw myself as the stubborn lump of clay {of Isaiah 29:16}, refusing to yield to the hand of the Potter and insisting, “I don’t like how you have made me.” Regardless of my objection this is a part of who I am; a part of who He wants me to be. God reminded me of this passage in Psalm 130:5-7

 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is abundant redemption.” 

What does He see?

He says that there is abundant redemption – even for the areas of my life that I would’ve thought were un-redeemable. But the ugliness I see cannot be transformed until I yield to His will and accept this part of who I am. I have to stop fighting Him before transformation can take place. I have wasted so much time just wishing I could be someone else or have some other personality when all I need to do is simply yield myself to Him.

This concept is particularly powerful to me because my earthly father is a Potter. I’ve grown up alongside the potters wheel and I know that the transformation from a hard, stubborn lump of clay to a beautiful and useful vessel is not an easy one. Stubborn clay is beaten, thrown, drenched in water, sliced and sometimes re-worked several times before it becomes something useful. I know this transformation process won’t be easy. But I know I can trust the Potter. Ultimately He will get more glory when I allow Him to redeem beauty from these ashes.

So I choose to hope in the Lord. With Him is abundant redemption.

Are there things you don’t like about yourself? Do you believe they can be redeemed?

Pottery photographs are of my Poppie and were taken by me March 2011.

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4 thoughts on “In the Hands of the Potter

  1. as usual my Love…I’m tearing up as I finish reading this. 3 scriptures come to mind Is. 61:1-3, 10-11 (NKJV)“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,Because the Lord has anointed MeTo preach good tidings to the poor;He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,To proclaim liberty to the captives,And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,And the day of vengeance of our God;To comfort all who mourn,3 To console those who mourn in Zion,To give them beauty for ashes,The oil of joy for mourning,The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;That they may be called trees of righteousness,The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,My soul shall be joyful in my God;For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.1Cor. 1:27-31 (NKJV)27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.[love,PoP!]

  2. Love this…as usual. But this one has really touched my soul. As far as wanting the qualities of others,I have often wanted the ability to express myself eloquently like you do. I sometimes feel jealous when I read great blogs and think "I could never do that." I don't like this part of myself that struggles to express what I am feeling in speech…or writing. I see it as such a weakness. I am going to stop struggling with this now and let Him redeem it! Praise God…thanks for sharing your gifts :)Christina

  3. Lovely. How often we ask for things to be taken away. For the "problem" to vanish. We forget that our prayer should be one of thanksgiving that He has given us the ability (by the Holy Spirit) to see the wrong. We forget that it is weakness that He uses to display His glory (It teaches us dependence). We forget that, instead of removing the problem, we should ask for Him to remove the dross.

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