“You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it.” “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Isaiah 45:8-9 (NIV)
A “potsherd” is merely a broken piece of clay – seemingly useless, but not in the potter’s hands. Talented potters making beautiful things from clay know the importance of adding the dust from these broken pieces of pottery called “grog” as it makes the vessel stronger along with giving it a richer and deeper patina and beauty. Remember, God formed us out of the dust of the earth and we are but jars of clay. Scripture tells us the Potter (God) shapes us by “picking up all the broken pieces” of our lives, fashioning us with the richest patina and strength from all of our brokenness. To be sure, He wastes nothing, particularly our pain. He is the Master of making beauty out of our ashes.
We repeatedly kick against His best for our lives because it all too often arrives in packages that are extraordinarily difficult and not of our choosing, Amen? It was no different for the original disciples either. His desire is to make us more and more conformed into His image until He takes us home. Remember, Jesus’ sojourn here was no “walk in the park” either. “Follow me” is His mantra. If we are still here, He is still working on us – and it is always for our good and His glory no matter how it may feel.
God keeps us moldable through the difficult – indeed, He tells us in this world we will have tribulations. It is in this process of molding us, that He is adding greater beauty and strength. He seeks to find His reflection in us. How much do we favor our older Brother? His desire is for us to put our broken pieces into His all loving Hands to do with them what only He can do. He will give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. We can trust Him with our pain and the ensuing results it will most assuredly bring about.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29 (NIV)
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” John 6:12 (NIV)