Again and again I worked on writing assignments and nothing seemed to flow. Words seemed stilted, sentences contrived. Thoughts were disjointed and rewriting did nothing to create a work worthy of publishing. So I stopped. I deleted paragraphs and entire devotionals. My writing grew hollow; my thoughts dried up. I wondered. Is God shelving me? Has He removed His hand from me? Does He want me to do something else, or nothing at all?
Life kept living and moving around me. I saw God’s love in so many instances. I witnessed His grace in trials and difficulty. Yet, words to describe His work in and around me ran from my fingertips. My brain was caught in a fog. I felt bad. I felt bad for those I’d made promises to. I felt inadequate and useless. I questioned myself. How could I begin to write any words of encouragement when emptiness and disquiet were my companions–when dust collected on my keyboard and monitor?
“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” Jeremiah 18:3-4
There are times in our lives in which we feel shelved. We may think our lives are so marred with inadequacy and wasted moments that God has moved on to another vessel, to fill it with perfumed roses. We may feel our time has passed, our hour of usefulness is up. Should that be so, what do we do? We rest. We wait. We sit where the Lord has placed us and collect dust if He so desires. It is God who decides what good we are to be for His purpose.
As I read through this passage in Jeremiah, I noted that the vessel the potter “made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter”. In His hand–not mine. He was forming and shaping. He was designing and working into me the curves, the depth and width of His choosing. As He worked, the vessel was marred. So He made it again–“another vessel”. God’s transforming grace does not end at the moment we receive new life in Christ. God is continually fashioning and molding His vessel for His plan and purpose. Whether we house fresh roses or sit empty, God is using us. We may not know how; we may wonder if we have been forgotten because the spot in which He has placed us seems a wasted space, without activity. These kind of thoughts focus on ourselves rather than our Lord. Christ is all encompassing. He is in me and with me. Who am I to question?
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2009