Sunday, February 11, 2007

Shaped by the Potter's hand

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel." Jeremiah 18:1-6

The theme for the annual Christian women's conference in Urk was 'Shape Me' - (based on the biblical image of the Potter and the clay). Together with Albert Brouwer, a Christian potter from a place called Tollebeek (near Urk), I was invited to talk about this theme. Recently I wrote a little book about this rich metaphor, focusing on the fact that we are "only" human, but that God can change us from the inside out. Our Creator took the clay of the earth and molded it into the shape He had in mind for us, people. And He still knows that we are made of dust: As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13,14
We are all work in progress, because God is still molding and shaping us into the image He has in mind for us. That is, if we allow Him to do that, because first we need to surrender to our Maker and we have to be willing to become like clay. If we entrust our lives into God's mighty hands, He will use all of life's circumstances to accomplish his work. The molding of our lives and characters is not a physical, but a spiritual activity and it takes time and patience to finish it. It is also a painful process, because of the fallen state of this world and our disobedience to God. But, if we are willing to be in the centre of God's will (i.e. in the centre of the potter's wheel) He is able to shape us with his loving, powerful hands into the image that He has in mind for us: the beautiful image of His Son, Jesus Christ!

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:44-49

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17.

If you want to know more about my book VORM MIJ (Shape Me), please read this post on my old blog. Links for the book and CD: Ark Boeken and GMI.


Ree! said...

Hi! I like your blog too much. I'm from Costa Rica in Central America. I'm trying to visit blogs in other countries to know about their cultures and lifestyle and all that stuff.

"Por lo tanto, el que está en Cristo es nueva creatura, las cosas viejas pasaron; se convirtieron en algo nuevo" 2 Corintios 5:17 in spanish.


Panda said...

Hi Ree! Good to hear from you! I was still working on this posting when I received your comment. Wow - you are fast, man! ;-)
I will visit your blog too, although I need to use a translation program to understand your language. Please come back more often. Blessings from the Netherlands! May the Lord bless Costa Rica!

Carolanne said...

Very good post and so true!