A Geranium and Two Vibert Vases
Kneading and shaping and reshaping the clay on his potter’s wheel, the potter transforms earth into something distinct and unique, useful, beautiful, and desirable. In a small way, His creative acts mirror God’s. The prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah make that analogy. God, who not only gave beauty to creation and made us from the dust of the earth, works to bring beauty into our spirits.
But now, O Lord, You are our Father/We are the clay, and You our potter/And all of us are the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
Becoming beautiful under God’s hand isn’t always easy because it takes time and requires character shaping, an acceptance of His Sovereignty and authority, and a trusting faith that He is working good in all our situations, whether happy or desperate.
In the context of the Judeo-Christian faith, trials serve as refining fires. Many centuries prior to the Apostle Peter, Job had confessed that “… (God) knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.” (Job 23:10) Peter, who withstood much persecution for his faith, reaffirmed that: “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world”. (1 Peter 1:7 (NLT2)
How we choose to respond to struggles will determine outcomes. Sometimes trials drive us to God, sometimes away from God because we feel that we deserve better than pain and suffering and don’t understand how a loving God allows injustices to happen. Difficulties may strengthen and mature us or weaken and defeat us. Thankfully, God is not a condemning God. He is good. Everything that is good originates from Him. (James 1:17) He is for us. He is all about redeeming, restoring, giving peace and purpose to life, leading our souls to green pastures and still waters, and gifting us the heavenly blessings of forgiveness, wholeness, and His presence. Even in the brokenness of this world and in the dark night of suffering, an enduring confidence in God’s love creates beautiful, desirable vessels with characters that mirror His.
He knows the fragileness of our lives and wants to journey with us on that road of human pain and suffering which he has walked and understands. He knows our need for comfort and power to endure. There is an old Gospel song that puts this into the Christian perspective: “But in every situation God gave blessed consolation/That my trials come to only make me strong/Through it all, through it all/I’ve learned to trust in Jesus/I’ve learned to trust in God/Through it all, through it all/I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.” (written by Andrae Crouch)
“Through it all,” God is faithfully developing beautiful spirits – strong, trusting, courageous, understanding hearts of mercy and grace, compassion and love, peace and joy, and kindness.