“No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction.”
Romans 9:20-22 NLT
Paul picks up the story of a potter, working with clay, and making a number of different jars. He probably remembered the Scripture we looked at recently – Isaiah 45:9, “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’” It may be difficult for us proud people to accept, but we are no different really to a clay jar. God made us, and the potter made a jar. Both very different in complexity and function, but created nevertheless. But the analogy has other implications – a person can end up either a thing of beauty or something else.
I spent time yesterday with a two-week-old baby boy and his loving parents. Enjoying the marvel of creation, and this perfect new life. A new entry into this world with so much potential. The analogy with the clay pot ends here, because this new life will grow and develop from a baby into an adult. Not so for our clay jar. But we must never forget that God brought the new baby into this world. The go-to Scripture is in Psalm 139:13-16, “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 marvellous—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”.
Somehow, as I look at myself and who I am, unique in every way, I think of the loving Father who formed me. He put together a design just for me, and brought it to fruition. And looking at myself in this way puts a different complexion on how I live my life. I have only God to thank. He didn’t make a failure. He made a person that started right at the moment of conception, that grew under His careful and watching eye into who I am today. Yes, sin has taken its toll, corrupting and distorting, but He allowed for that through Jesus and His sacrifice at Calvary. And one day God will give me that perfect body we read about in 1 Corinthians 15:53, “For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies”.
Let us pilgrims take a fresh look at ourselves today. We thank God for making us just as we are, not as who we would like to be. He had, and has, a plan for each one of us, and put us together in a way that will enable us to fulfil that plan. How amazing is that! We don’t have to fret because other “clay jars” seem better than us. We are just as God wants us to be. After all, he is the Master Creator Potter, perfectly skilled in His craft. And after He made us, He destroyed the moulds. The blueprints were discarded. And yesterday’s new baby is another unique creation, with plans and purposes already set out for him.
Dear Father God. We thank You for new life. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a new baby coming into this world. I pray a blessing on the new baby introduced into my family, through Your grace and design. And in this time of spring, I thank You for making all things new. Amen.