I saw a great quote on social media the other day. It said, “When God put a calling on your life, He already factored in your stupidity.” After I laughed, I felt there was a lot of wisdom to gain from this strangely comforting message. How many times have I felt like God was calling me to something and I didn’t respond because I was too busy, too scared, too clean, too dirty, too smart, too dumb, too whatever? Basically I disagreed that God really needed me because He didn’t know me well enough.
Once I boil it down to the fact that I feel like I know myself better than God knows me, I am immediately reminded of the scripture in Romans 9:20-21
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
Have you ever watched a potter sit at a potter’s wheel and work on a grey lump of clay? As the wheel spins, the potter carefully shapes it into something only he sees in his mind’s eye. He uses gentle pressure and a constant dripping of water to keep the clay soft and pliable. If there is an imperfection, he simply smashes it back down to its original shapeless form and starts over. Some pieces come out as every day items – plates, cups, pots for indoor and outdoor use. And some pieces are so intricate and detailed that they end up as a beautiful piece of art to be displayed for generations to come to admire and try to emulate.
Personally, I feel like I’m more the every day use-it-without-really-thinking-about-it kind of piece. I’m nothing out of the ordinary; just someone living a quiet life, going about my business and doing whatever job God puts in front of me to do. But when I put my life into perspective from the potter’s point of view I start to understand there may be more to it. For example, it would be difficult to drink water without a cup; putting food on a plate to eat from is much easier than not; and cooking without a pot or planting flowers without a pot is much more challenging. In other words, the day to day pots are the ones that keep life going.
To be honest, there have been times I’ve tried to swat the Potter’s hand away and take the wheel myself, usually because I become frustrated or impatient with the direction all this is going. But more often than not, I simply believe I have a better plan. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling this way, even if only during brief moments of weakness.
But just like a child swats away a parent’s hand as they try to wipe away a tear or clean a wound, God patiently keeps at it, knowing that He is much stronger than we are and we will eventually give way once we realize that fact as well. He is working on us, making us stronger, better versions of ourselves. And sometimes, I believe He’s simply trying to keep us from ruining what He’s created us to be: a use-it-without-really-thinking-about-it kind of piece!
Ultimately, God has the right to do whatever He wants. He doesn’t owe us an explanation for what He does, much like the potter doesn’t have to justify why he made one pot ordinary and another a museum piece. God has a much bigger picture in mind than we can ever see this side of heaven. And besides the lovely bit of wisdom about God already factoring in my stupidity when He created me, there is one simple fact that will never change. God always has a purpose in every single thing He does and in everything He allows to happen.
Let me say that again….God ALWAYS has a PURPOSE in every single thing He does and in everything He allows to happen.
There are so many things that happen in life that I just don’t understand. I don’t understand why good things happen to bad people and why bad things happen to good people. I don’t understand hate and unkindness. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t see the same beauty in the flowers and butterflies that God created for our enjoyment. I don’t understand why there is sickness or pain or sorrow. But every once in a while I feel like God is whispering to me not to worry about it; He has a plan and everything is a part of it.
Bottom-line, whatever role God gives me, however He created me, isn’t the point. The point is that He is the Potter and I’m just the clay. The point is that life is for pointing others to God, to give Him glory in everything. The life God has given me hasn’t been given so I would be happy, but to draw attention to Him as the Master, the Creator, the Alpha and the Omega.
To God be the glory! Amen!
There is no greater privilege than when God uses us to give Him glory! – Pastor Chris Ward