Jeremiah 18:1-6 (CSB) This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal my words to you.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. 4 But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do. 5 The word of the Lord came to me: 6 “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.
God is just downright amazing! He speaks to us in many different ways, and yesterday, He used the Holy Spirit to teach me a lesson using--dental flossers, of all things!
I was cleaning the house and stumbled upon a bag of my husband’s dental flossers on the bathroom counter. I immediately noticed something (not the fact that they were out on the counter for me to put away. Although I did notice that, too. The drawer is just a few inches away, after all!) But back on topic I go: I glanced down and noticed the front of the bag promising me that the flossers were ENGINEERED NOT TO STRETCH, SHRED, OR BREAK, for MILES OF SMILES. “I wish I was engineered not to stretch, shred, or break!” I quipped to the bag as I tossed it in the drawer. Enter the Holy Spirit, dropping some wise counsel...
I continued to ponder while I cleaned. Maybe I don’t want that for myself, if I really consider it. If I was inflexible, unbreakable...well, that would make me rigid. And can God use rigid people? Well, God can use anyone or anything, but does He want to use rigid people? Nope. He wants us to be moldable, shapeable, able to be made into something new. In Zechariah 13:9 and Malachi 3:3 it says that God “refines” us in the fire. John 15:2 says He “prunes” the branches that bear fruit. And Jeremiah 18:6 says He “molds” us like the potter’s clay (see above). Nothing in there about us “staying the same.” When we come to Jesus, we come as dirty, unpurified clumps of muck. Our salvation is the beginning of the sanctification process: setting us apart for a particular purpose, and to be made holy or sacred. And according to Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV). Sure, we are supposed to come to Him just as we are, but we aren’t going to STAY that way, praise Jesus!
So back to my indestructible dental flossers and me. If I was made not to STRETCH, then I wouldn’t have the flexibility to withstand what comes my way. If I was made not to SHRED, then I wouldn’t allow room for God to peel away those unwanted layers of sin. And although it seems tempting to be UNBREAKABLE in times of trouble, well...it’s in my times of utter brokenness that I am closest to God. As long as I hold onto my former shape, I’m not allowing Him to make me into what He intended for me, and that would be a tragedy. It’s a scary thought, but I have to be broken to be made new. I’m not supposed to be UNBREAKABLE. I’m supposed to give my life to the One who is ENGINEERED NOT TO STRETCH, SHRED, OR BREAK and let Him have control.
Wow, if I think about it that way, it gives me peace, reassurance, and “miles of smiles”, just like the package says!
Thank you, God, that you remain unchanging and unbreakable. It is in you that I find strength, and you are there in every single circumstance, so I never need to tackle life on my own. Make me moldable and changeable for your sake. Please remind me daily that I need only to lean on you, and that through this uncertain process of being broken and made new, I am ALWAYS in your hands. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.