October 17, 2020
“So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.” Jeremiah 18:2
The spinning wheel used by the potter that Jeremiah saw back in 626 BC is still operated basically the same today, approximately 2646 years later. This Bible lesson has three things: the potter, the wheel, and the clay. The Potter represents God our Creator, the wheel represents life, and the clay represents us.
There are three points I want to cover in this writing:
1. God (the Potter) is always working on us
2. Life is represented by a constantly turning wheel that is molding us
3. Us – represented as a lump of clay needing to be molded by God
The Potter – God has a plan for each of us and He knows us better than we know ourselves. God has His Hands on everything; it is evident He loves putting the detail into every snowflake, fingerprint, and sunset. He even calls the millions of night stars by name as He controls the universe. God is continuously working on each of us; He wants to complete us with uniqueness from freckles to balding heads. He shapes our faces and awesome personalities, then adds various shades of skin tones to watch us interact.
Several years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Williamsburg VA. It was like going back into the 18th century. I saw a man there making pottery on a spinning wheel. I was fascinated to see him making a bowl that looked like perfection. All of the sudden, he stopped and pulled something out. It was a small particle that no one probably would have ever known was there. This potter stopped, reshaped the entire clay, and started over.
That is how it is with God as He works on us. He wants only the best for us, but our smallest sin mars us. Even though others cannot see it, God knows our heart and our innermost sin. To finish His Design of us, sometimes He must break us to a point where we fully rely on Him alone. He must take out our impurities, so His perfect love can flow freely into our heart all the way to our soul.
Examine yourself and ask God to reshape you into His plan for your life. He can stop the wheel at any time and take out any flaws you may have. Perhaps it is a need to forgive someone. Maybe you need to forgive yourself. Who knows better than you (and God) of your need to ask someone for forgiveness?
Let God be the Designer of your life, He has done some remarkable things like saying, “Let there be light!” Presto! Now we live in an ever-expanding universe on this third rock from the sun. Who can make a human heart start beating? Look at how perfect a newborn baby is with all those blood cells, organs, fingers, and toes to go with a brain and a soul?
Stop the Wheel #1 in my life - The first time God changed the direction in my life was after I finished the eighth grade. From the book, Barrio Walk: Stepping Into Wisdom, “I felt good about leaving St. Matthew’s as I would attend St. Mary’s High School and get to play football for a perennial State Champ. My future was set but God had other plans for me.” This part of my life continues as my father took me to Los Angeles to visit his elderly parents. It was supposed to be a weekend visit, but my father left me there. Yada, yada, yada … my high school ended up being two years at a seminary in Compton CA with my last two years at Carl Hayden in the inner city of Phoenix. This taught me to adjust and bloom wherever I get planted.
Life represented as The Wheel - When life turns bad on us, we sometimes turn bitter and find bad things to distract us. It might come in drinking too much or other vices. We tend focus on the wheel (life’s problems) rather than focusing on the Potter. Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” In addition to the gift of salvation, this includes being made whole. Perhaps you need restoration of your health, your finances, your marriage, or your inner peace. Call on the Prince of Peace. We need to focus on the Father rather than our foes or fears. When we get depressed, we tend to look down as our continence falls. We need to keep looking up as He is coming in the clouds. Every eye will see Him according to Revelation 1:7. Don’t look downward through a microscope to resolve your problems, use a telescope to focus on the One who reigns in Heaven.
Stop the wheel # 2 in my life - Even though I was successful in my work career, my personal life needed a drastic change. My life was stuck on wrong but I did not know how to fix it. I went that Sunday morning to St. Patrick Cathedral in the heart of New York City. I had not attended church for almost eight years. From Broken Walk: Searching For Wisdom: “During my time of reflection, there was a Mass taking place around me, but I was unaware as I was bent over in a pile of tearful sentiments. My throat burned from bile that had made its way to my tonsils. As I cried, it felt like my heart was about to come out of my chest. It felt like the arteries wanted to come outside of my body and somehow cling like vines to God. I begged God for a solution...” I walked out of the cathedral in a downtrodden state because I felt like no one cared, not even God. Even when I thought God did not hear me, in a matter of a few days, God provided the solution I desperately needed.
If you want God to help you, call out to Him. That is why He is called a Savior. Be sincere and He will give you the desires of your heart. Trust in the Lord and He will make your path straight. He pulled me out of the darkness so I can help others find the way to Peace.
Us – The Lump of Clay - Even though clay is a mixture of dust and water and appears useless, it is not worthless to The Potter. Our Creator sees us as His finished product. He knows we are as valuable as gold, silver, and tons of money. This is because He knows the plan and design, He has for us, His clay.
Sometimes as clay, we become marred and scarred with sin or addiction. Maybe it is a case of bad company corrupting good character. As the wheel of life turns, our circumstances tend to shape who we become. Here’s the Good News: the Potter always wants the best for us and His Love for us does not change no matter what we do. You can be confident of this: “He who began a good work in you will carry on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 A potter finishes his work by placing it in an oven to harden. He may finish his masterpiece by applying a glaze to reflect His image.
As a vessel in the Hands of God, we must first be available. We cannot be like an earthworm that squirms when it is placed on a fishhook. He can fill us with His Love when we are empty of things like selfishness, bitterness, unforgiveness, greed, hatred, jealousy, pride, lust, disgust, and mistrust. No matter how big your problem is God can fix it. If He can turn the night into day, If He can turn water into wine; He can easily turn your mess into a message, like He did for me. He pulled me out of the darkness so I can help others see His Light.
Stop the Wheel #3 in my life - Even as someone advanced in age, God continues to refine me. Last year I went on a short-term mission trip to the Los Angeles Dream Center. God showed me His example of humility when I met a man who was homeless in the heart of skid row in downtown LA. This man told me God gave him the job (with no pay) to clean a port-a-john near a park where the homeless congregate. He described how difficult it was as the mess is continuous. My ‘rest of my life-changing moment’ came later that night. My mind could not grasp: how can a homeless man devote his life to cleaning a public port-a john on skid row? The answer was humility, and God let me know right then, I needed more of it. I found my purpose for the remainder of my life at the end of my tears. These last days on Earth will be full of gratitude when I write and speak about His Goodness. Thank you, my Heavenly Father, for giving me a second chance and placing me on the eternal Path to Peace.
Remember, God is always working on us and wants the best for us. He is always ready to start over with a makeover to finish the perfect you. Is it time to Stop the wheel?