Last week, springboarding off the things I was going to miss having to quarantine, I wrote about God as the Potter. The line in that piece that has played over and over in my head this week (and yes, preachers often step on their own toes; how can they not?) reads: “He’s the Potter. Whiny clay isn’t even a thing.”
I believe that we often need to hear God’s “drill-instructor” voice (e.g., Job 38-41). There are, of course, other times that we need to hear Abba’s voice. Several days after writing the line about whiny clay, God brought to mind a different picture. Sitting around our house are samples of the finished work of the artists I mentioned in the last piece. The beautiful lamp or the Hobbit that was in the lump of clay or the block of wood. They look NOTHING like what came home from the store.
I don’t do handiwork. I have ten thumbs and they’re all on backwards, but I do have two pretty good eyes. And I’ve watched the face of these artisans as they gazed at their raw material and somehow saw not what IS but what COULD BE. In the case of the woodworker, I’ve stood with him at specialty wood stores as he holds up and eyeballs piece after piece that all look the same to me, but a light comes over his face when he sees the one that has IN it what he’s looking for. And then he can hardly wait to get to work on it, carving, shaving, polishing, even lavishing, if I may, with care in order to reveal the highly valued piece inside. Beloved, I see so many similarities to how Abba sees us, but we are so much more than a chunk of wood. He made us! And He wants us to ultimately live with Him, FOREVER! Consider just three, out of hundreds of texts:
- The Creator of the Universe Chose You!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:3-8a NASB, emphasis added)
- The Omniscient Maker of the Stars Made You!
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand! (Psalm 139:13-18 NLT)
- The Lord of Lords and the King of Kings Has Got You!
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 24-25 KJV)
I have watched a nose get sketched and re-sketched for a child by an adoring uncle. I have witnessed a gift being lacquered again and again until you can almost see your face in a piece of wood… all for “things” that will be gone in a flash. We are HIS workmanship and we’re going to stand before Him after this world has passed away.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Rom 8:14-18)