Use Me, God Rev Dr Durrell Watkins The prophet Jeremiah tells us today that he saw a potter working. The pot she was working on was spoiled, Jeremiah says, and then the potter reworked it. Another way to hear that is that vessel didn’t yet resemble it’s perfect pattern, so the potter kept working on […]
Use Me, God
Rev Dr Durrell Watkins
The prophet Jeremiah tells us today that he saw a potter working. The pot she was working on was spoiled, Jeremiah says, and then the potter reworked it.
Another way to hear that is that vessel didn’t yet resemble it’s perfect pattern, so the potter kept working on it until it did.
Once Jeremiah saw this, it occurred to him that God can do that with us. If we aren’t yet all that we are meant to be, and most of us probably aren’t, the good news is God isn’t done with us! In God’s hands we are still being perfected, worked and reworked according to a pattern and a plan that is perfect.
The material is perfect, the plan is perfect, the potter is perfect, so perfection is the ultimate outcome – it has to be.
That we aren’t there yet just means we remain a work of art in process.
I love that Jeremiah thinks of God as an artist, and we as God’s works of art that will be, must be, worthy of a divine artist’s time and skill. Jeremiah thinks of God as a potter, an artist, a committed craftswoman who will not give up on her project until it as beautiful as it is meant to be.
Jeremiah shows us –
Whatever we thought God was…God is more.
And, whatever we thought we were…We are more.
If you are worried that it’s ever too late to be happier, to have more peace of mind, to have something meaningful to contribute, Jeremiah tells us not to worry.
We aren’t the potter, God is…we are clay.
God’s clay is perfect, and God’s skill working with the clay is also perfect.
God isn’t going to give up on us, and God has all eternity, all power, and all wisdom to get it right. We will be fine.
Jeremiah is a prophet, and in the old prophetic tradition, there was some finger wagging and some stern admonitions to get it together, but there is always the promise of grace as well. The prophets say “do better” – because we can, because we deserve better, because God isn’t giving up on us so don’t you dare give up on yourself, on your community, on your society, on your world.
God is molding pure potential…it’s got to turn out right eventually. That’s why it’s always too soon to give up hope.
Jeremiah reminds us we are better than we think and we can be more than we’ve ever been.
No matter how damaged or incomplete our efforts or our goals may seem, we are still moist clay in the potter’s hands. Any given moment may seem to be a mess, but it can still be reshaped. The vessel may not look right yet, but the pattern is still perfect, the material is still perfect, and the potter is still perfect. Perfect manifestation is on the way.
Oprah has said the best advice she ever received was to not be too worried about success but to work toward being significant. She also adds, when we focus on significance, success follows naturally. Success may not mean being a billionaire like Oprah; success is doing what you can to make a positive difference. A successful life is a life of service.
Oprah dedicated her life to significance. Early in her career she said this prayer:
“Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
I think her prayer got answered.
In her younger life, she had some tough breaks as many of us have…but she knew she was moist clay in a potter’s expert hands. She asked the potter to continue to work and rework her into her best possible self, so that she could then help others be their best selves.
The potter metaphor was used in our opening hymn today: “Have thine own way Lord; have thine own way. Thou are the potter; I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.”
Whenever I read this passage from Jeremiah I’m reminded of another old hymn that uses the potter metaphor: “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living of God, fall afresh on me.”
It’s like Oprah’s prayer: “Use me, God.” It changed her life, and through her, others.
Will you say that life-changing prayer today?
Will you see yourself as moist clay in a divine potter’s hands?
If so, you can expect miracles in your life, and you will be part of making our world a better place.
You are amazing, and will become more so. The Potter isn’t finished with you yet.
And this is the good news. Amen.
© Durrell Watkins 2016
Continue to work in and through my life.
Use me for a purpose greater than myself.
Thank you, God.