By Jill Miller
A good friend of mine is a chef.
She just finished a kitchen makeover of epic proportions. Her new kitchen could easily be featured on the cover of any number of magazines.
While she has a myriad of amazing pots, pans, appliances, and gadgets, what really stands out is her dish wall.
The dish wall is a massive built-in cabinet with glass panes that holds an impressive collection of fine china.
But not all the china belongs to her. Many pieces are on loan from friends and family who live both near and far, including a cup and saucer of mine displayed front and center.
Although fine china and everyday dishes have similarities, they are distinctive in form and function.
Both types of cups have the same basic structure and hold hot beverages.
But, from one you drink expensive tea and feel the need to hold your pinkie out.
The other contains your favorite coffee that warms you as you clasp it with both hands.God is the Potter; we are the clay. He made us how He wants us. But trusting the Potter and embracing His design isn’t always easy.
Trusting the Potter
Isaiah 64:8 tells us that God is the potter, and we are the clay.
He has made each of us into a vessel for His use.
He is the Creator, and He could make us into anything–a pot, plate, bowl, vase.
I see myself as a serving tray used to carry things.
It’s nothing fancy but strong.
It’s not made for décor.
It’s made to be used.
At times, it carries other pieces of pottery that are smaller.
What about you?
If you had to choose a piece of pottery that represents who you are, what would it be?
Understanding the Potter’s Purpose
“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?” – Rom 9:20-21 NIV
Take a moment to think about your personality and your giftings.
Here are four questions to consider:
- Are you the one who is always out in front, or are you typically behind the scenes?
- Are you the prayer warrior, or do you find yourself caring for others?
- Are you the teacher of the women’s Bible study, or the one who invites them to her home?
- Are you the seamstress who made the costumes for the children’s Christmas program, or the one who directed the whole affair?
Now that you’ve taken time to think about which piece of pottery illustrates who you are, ask yourself these questions to determine if you’re trusting the Potter:
- Are you satisfied with what the Potter has made? Or would you rather be something else?
- Do you look at others and wish you could do what they can do?
- Do you feel like you don’t have much to offer?
If you uncovered a sense of dissatisfaction with who God made you, it may mean you’re not trusting the Potter.
If we truly believe God is sovereign, then it’s impossible for Him to make a mistake.
He made you exactly the way He wanted.God made you exactly the way He wanted.
Embracing Your God-Given Design
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be...For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Ps 139:14, 16 NIV
You did not drop off an assembly line.
You were knit together one stitch at a time by the Creator of the universe to make you into your unique self.
Soak in this thought and embrace God’s design for you.
Perhaps some of you skimmed over that last section quickly.
I admit I might have.
Why? Because we’re perfectly content with how God made us.
We like the skillset God gave us and find satisfaction in using those skills to do things for Him.
We feel useful and needed, especially when people seek us out to help in some manner.You were knit together one stitch at a time by the Creator of the universe to make you into your unique self.
I have a different set of questions for this group:
- Do you view others who do less than you as somehow inferior?
- In your mind (you would never verbalize this!), do you assign less value to the one who decorated the tables than to the one who led the devotional at your church’s most recent ladies’ event?
- Does your heart swell with joy when you see your name in print acknowledging your contribution?
If these questions make you squirm, consider Jeremiah 19:3-4 NIV, “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.“
Early in my spiritual life, I struggled with these verses. I wasn’t trusting the Potter and wondered how He could have messed up.
But over the years, I’ve recognized the issue wasn’t with the Potter, but the clay.
For whatever reason, the clay wasn’t yielding to His hands.
While many reasons exist for why we don’t yield to the Potter’s hands, a key one is pride.
The Bible is full of verses about the danger of pride, but one of the most sobering is 1 Peter 5:5b NIV, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”
Trusting the Potter demands that we fight against the insidious monster of pride that rears its ugly head too often in our lives.
Rather than fighting against His plan, we should submit to it and be molded into what He knows is best for us.
Whether you’re dealing with a sense of dissatisfaction or battling pride, take a moment to ponder your uniqueness.
God made you exactly the way He wanted for His purposes.
After using her math and computer skills in the health insurance industry for more than 30 years, God granted Jill’s desire to retire early. With her freedom and time, she uses her God-given skills to pursue volunteer ministry opportunities. Jill likes to be physically active to balance her love for cooking and baking. She also enjoys crossword puzzles and watching birds and other critters God brings to her feeder.