Do we really believe our lives are created by the hands of The Potter? That is what Psalm 139 teaches us, that we are His creations formed in secret in our Mother’s wombs, and exclusively by His hands.
I tell you, I have heard sermons for most of my life attesting to the truth, that God creates no junk. That is easy to believe if you like what you see in the mirror. But what if you don’t? What if I only “see” the ruins and the wreckage of what might have been, and now will never be?
What if my losses are so overwhelming to me that I now only haunt the gravestones of grief and loss?
What if I can no longer see past my tears and broken heart?
Something that is difficult to share.
It is easy to believe in a loving God when you have only experienced the warm fuzzy aspects of love.
When your hopes and dreams come true—it is quite natural to talk about His “Grace” with ease—when all your experiences are about God’s love and His favorable blessings.
But, when your dreams die? When hope and faith becomes but a tiny flickering flame in your soul? What then?
What if all you can see are the broken jagged pieces of your life?
What if you are forced to embrace the thorns of a “never will be?”
Believe me, it is extremely difficult to believe your days are in the hands of a “Loving Potter.” That kind of love does not compute with worldly thinking and values.
When my view of love needs a deep transformation
In The Church we can get very casual with the words LOVE and GRACE.
But, perhaps with the wounded? We need to learn to be very “slow to speak” when speaking to broken people. Especially if our pain has only been of the superficial kind, or at best, experienced secondhand.
If you have not seen the world through a sufferer’s actual experience, or circumstance, how can you possibly know, or have any idea?
So, perhaps, silence might prove to be our kindest option.
Yes, I believe God is a GOOD, GOOD, Father.
Yes, I believe He is loving in all His ways.
But, I also believe there are experiences that will hurl you into places you do not want to go! And once there, you undergo and endure forms of suffering that will (at very least) temporarily overwhelm your ability to see God’s love—let alone take hold of it’s veracity and truth.
Let us not forget, that even Jesus Himself cried out to His Father…
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27: 46
The dark night of the soul
This “dark night” I am speaking of is a place of becoming undone, through agony and pain, and in that process our sight can get blurred and distorted for a time.
If we have not experienced this breaking ourselves?
Our shallow comfort may leave someone with deeper wounds. As His hands and feet, let’s not trivialize another’s suffering by heaping well-meant, but ill-timed cliches upon them.
That would only be coarse and callous ignorance.
You would hardly call that kind—or loving.
Many times only our Potter knows what is best.
He is the One who has felt, and therefore sees and understands, everything a shrinking soul is enduring in the flames of their suffering.
He alone knows how to mold a soul to His chosen design.
There is a story that is told in Jeremiah about The Potter and His Clay.
There you will find one verse in particular that had always been an enigma to me:
Here is another message to Jeremiah from the Lord: Go down to the shop where clay pots and jars are made, and I will talk to you there. I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar that he was forming didn’t turn out as he wished, so he kneaded it into a lump and started again. Jeremiah 18: 1-4 TLB
I could never understand that last verse.
Over and over I wondered, “How could God call a process of becoming “undone” an act of Love?”
Until… I looked closely at Jesus in the mud and the blood of Gethsemane.
Until, I saw Him dumb and silent as a lamb delivered to the slaughter of His accusers.
Until, I saw Him whipped, and marred, and crucified…
And all for love.
Then in a moment of revelation, I saw why, God is willing to “unmake us.”
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Philippians 3: 10
These are powerful words,
And some of the hardest words in the Bible to live out.
When I finally experience my smaller purposes and dreams being exchanged for his deeper kingdom purposes?
When He turns my life into broken bread and spilled out wine for others?
When I experience “the fellowship of His sufferings?”
Then I see! Right here is where my prayers for power are answered, and yes finally, I can believe in the enormous love of Jesus in it all!
And in “my seeing?”
My understanding of brokenness and pain are transformed and redeemed.
This rhema moment, has birthed this wondrous exchange of mutual love for each other—my Savior and I—and my thinking is washed clean; my believing reborn!
I suddenly see myself as I was always meant to be—transformed and remade in His image—cruciform at last.