In the Old Testament parable, the prophet Jeremiah describes an illustration of who we are and whom we’re becoming. We are the clay in the potter’s hand, to be shaped into the image of Jesus Christ. The word of the Lord came to the prophet, “Go to the potter’s house.” When he arrived, he witnessed a scene familiar in that culture—a potter shaping a vessel for his own use. God can speak through ordinary means to convey his word. But the clay the craftsman was using had flaws; it was defective material. So he had to start over again and reshape it again into another vessel that would please the potter. The problem wasn’t in the potter’s method, but in the quality of the material. It was resistant to the artisan’s design. For we are all cracked pots, jars of clay that have been broken in one way or another. Our actions and our choices determine the quality of the pot. However, there is good news: GINFWUY! God Is Not Finished With Us Yet! The Lord doesn’t give up on his creation and can reshape even broken vessels if we are willing to put ourselves in his hands. God takes the defects and the flaws of our lives and molds us into someone we could never be without him.
Once God showed Jeremiah the potter at work with the clay, he asked, “Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done?” For those who are on the potter’s wheel soon discover they are not in control. In order to become the people we are designed to be, we must be molded and shaped by the potter’s hand. In his book What on Earth Am I Here For?, Rick Warren says “Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God.” Regardless of circumstance, tragedy or poor decisions, God is still sovereign and can work all these things together to achieve his ultimate purpose. Yet the mystery remains—what is our role in God’s sovereign plan? For God gives Jeremiah two possible outcomes, and two divine intentions. At one moment, the Lord can intend to reshape a cracked pot due to defective material. Yet Jeremiah counsels that if that nation or people turns from evil, God can modify the results according to our response. However, the reverse is also true. We can sadly corrupt God’s intention to bless by our disobedience to God’s will. As one preacher suggested, all Christians are diamonds, we’re just not all the same size. God can withhold blessings as well as he can give them. We can either say, “It’s no use, I’ll follow my own plans,” or we can say, “God, use me!”