Today in church one of our pastors, Will Dungee, preached on the potter passage in Jeremiah 18. He talked about how we are created by God to be vessels shaped by His hand, and he had some pots thad had been thrown ("made") by a church member. As Will talked he "accidentally" let one fall and break, and then segwayed into how many of us are broken, and that we think the thing to do with broken pots is just to throw away the pieces, since they aren't good for anything. Well, I knew that God didn't do that, but I wondered, "What does God do with these broken pots? Is there a verse about gluing back together?"
As I wondered, a video came on the screen, and the potter from our church showed how broken pots were recycled into usable clay. They are put into a big tub of water, and over time the water re-softens the shards until they become maleable clay, which can then be thrown again. And the pieces made from the recycled clay are really beautiful because they have different colors and patterns from the different clays in them. Who knew?!
Then they showed Psalm 40:2 - "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire", and looking at the tub of recycled clay, it was a muddy, miry mess. From that comes good, beautiful works fashioned by the potter.
Will laid out broken pieces of pottery on the stage, and then placed finished pots and bowls, made from recycled pottery, behind the broken pieces and opened the altar for people to pray.
Diane and I have been going through a real breaking time in our marriage, and as I prayed there before those pieces of pottery, the Lord encouraged me that though we are broken now, He was going to soften us in the love and power of His Holy Spirit, and reform us together into a new vessel, more united and more beautiful because from our brokenness the Lord will create unity. Amazing grace - what a good God we have.