But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot. (Jer. 18:4)
Expanded Passage: Jeremiah 18:3-4
My wife and I built our house. Anything we could reasonably and legally do ourselves, we did. Building a house this way was a trying process, but also rewarding. One of the joys of being able to take the time and care of constructing your own home is getting to hand-select unique pieces of materials that best suit the space.
One of our final projects was creating custom windowsills. Each plank of poplar wood we used was one-of-a-kind, with distinct knots and grain. Taking the time and care to discover the perfect combination of wood and window was a delight, but some of the planks just weren’t suited as sills. Slight warping, bulging knots, and other features made these planks a poor choice to trim a window.
A contractor building a house for a fee may have simply discarded these irregular boards. But having paid for these boards, I was determined to use their potential. I sanded and painted them and fastened a few of them together, making them into a mantle for our fireplace.
Israel, like the clay or my poplar, needed reshaping. It’s not pleasant to be bent back into a useful condition, but if we ever become warped or marred, God adores us enough to put us back into a form that is ready for his use.
Be open to God reshaping you, even if the process is unpleasant.
Stephen Simpson is a graduate of Wesley Seminary. He has served at Wesleyan churches—in one form or another—since childhood.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.