Your past is insignificant except in its value to shape and mold you into the person you are today.
Please stop displaying the tools used to form you. They are not the masterpiece –
What the enemy meant for evil, I intended to use for good.
You are the showpiece of what I can create using the roughest of tools…everything the adversary brought against you.
Yet you sit on your haunches, whining and holding up the tools of yore for all to behold.
“Look what they did to me!” you cry to passersby.
Yes look. YOU look! Take a good long look.
Do you see the effects? The faith, mercy, compassion, empathy, grace, love, strength, endurance, perseverance, and patience that are now yours?
They are within you in greater measure than they were even a few years ago.
The trials have been hot – intensely hot, I know. They were necessary.
You are clay. Do you know anything of the potter?
The clay is rolled into a ball, then slammed onto the wheel. More pushing and shoving takes place. It takes a fair amount of force to center the clay on the wheel to keep it from slinging off when the work begins.
Then comes more pressure – and going round and round…wall, wall, wall, shirt…over and over. Seen the same scenery time and again? Now you know why.
The implements used are hard. Some smooth, some pointed and sharp.
The potters fingers are poked into the center, pushing, pressing, thinning out the walls.
More implements are used on the outside, and on the inside.
All the while, the potter’s eyes never leave his project. All could be ruined in an instant by distractions, so he stays focused.
The spinning finally stops; but it’s not over yet.
The pot is cut off at the foot…that useless excess clay that held it to the wheel.
Next it’s time for the drying rack; a place where no water is added, and the excess moisture can evaporate. Feeling like you’re cried out? Hmm.
The pot is shelved, seemingly abandoned and rejected.
At last it’s a beautiful earthen vessel. Not good for much, though.
If bumped, it will crack. If filled with liquid, it will absorb the fluid and begin to sag…until it becomes a useless lump of clay again!
What to do? It’s of little value if all it can do is sit there, untouchable.
The firing furnace is necessary to make it useful.
Glazes may be applied, then baked into the piece. What special “glaze” do you have? An illness, injury, or disease? These add to the beauty and uniqueness of each piece, you know.
An interesting thing happens in the kiln. The piece becomes transparent! The potter can see right through the pot. It’s at this point that he knows this vessel can hold water without reverting back to its original form.
Some vessels receive more layers of glaze to achieve the desired result. That, of course, means more time in the kiln.
This has been the story of your life: squished, rolled, smacked down, a life that goes in circles, pressure, your insides messed with, drought, the heat of trials and so forth.
But look, will you? As a result of all you’ve gone through, look what you’ve become!
The only significance those past experiences have had is that they’ve made you what you are today –
Without those implements, you would be a lump of clay that melts away into nothingness.
Stop cursing them and be grateful for their value in forming you.
It is My work in you that I want to show off,
not the tools I used.
I want My work in you to declare my glory to the world…my ability to use everything the enemy threw at you to create beauty from the ashes he left behind.
So long as you insist on holding up the tools as if they are badges of honor, that’s all people will see.
Pity will be your reward…a sorry substitute for the glory I want to display through you, don’t you think?
Stand firm…it’s time to rise from the ashes and see –
– not “what might have been”
-but God’s redeeming work in…and through…You!
Praise Him, He saved you from what you would have become, and used your past to make you into who you are today.
If you’ll only see it.
God does not commit evil against us, but the Bible is clear that He allows mere man to choose to do whatever he wants, and also allows the adversary a certain amount of freedom to do likewise (Job, Peter).
Those who do not belong to the household of God belong to the household of the devil, and carry out his will against humans who were made in the image of God. Watch the evening news or read the paper. You can see that he is still hard at work to steal, kill, and destroy. His tools? Other humans.
The amazing thing is that God comes behind him and uses this to turn us into vessels of honor…fit to house the very Spirit of God. I do not pretend to understand this completely, but it has been my experience absolutely.
I’ve been on the receiving end of a great deal of evil, so I’m not talking in theory.
I’ve seen His handiwork as He’s healed this brokenhearted woman, set this captive free. He’s given me the ability to rise up with wings like eagles, to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint. It wasn’t until I was able to see His ability to give me beauty for ashes, and to redeem every bit of darkness within me that I was finally able to let go of my posture as a victim and walk in freedom and Light.
We must let go of unforgiveness and bitterness or learn to be content with pity as our reward for all we endured. I don’t know about you, but I suffered enough at the hands of others. I’ll be hanged if I’m going to pick up where they left off. I’m on my feet and heading for the battle field. There are many others who need to know of God’s healing power. They’ve been taken hostage, and enough is enough! Let’s go get them.
To God be the glory forever!