As we approach Thanksgiving this week, I can not help but reflect on years past and the hopeful years to come. I am reminded of how blessed I am and thankful to God for all that He has entrusted to me and how he has used me over the years for his purposes. I am thankful for my wife and daughter which bring me joy everyday. I am grateful for my immediate family here in Truckee and abroad. For my church family and friends at SBC and around the world. Thankful for health, shelter, food, water, freedom. The list can go on and on. But I am most thankful that Jesus has brought me out of mire and molded and shaped me. I look back on my 32 years of life and see His hand through it all. “Yes… even through the bad times”. This does not mean that it did not hurt or in any way if possible I would have avoided them, but God in his wisdom saw fit that I might be refined through it. I am reminded of the passage:
Is 64:8 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.
For indeed the potter will place that clay on the table and kneed, pound and roll it to get the air bubbles out. Then He will place it on the wheel and begin to make a beautiful vase but decided in the end to tear it down and make a dish instead. So the beautiful process starts all over. Pounding, kneading, adding some water to make it soft again. After his masterpiece is the way he wants it he will place it in the fire to be made hard. After being in the fire the piece will be allowed to cool. The piece can not be used yet for it is still brittle. Once cooled, the potter then places a beautiful glaze and/or decorations on it. Then just when you think its done, then yup you guessed its back into the fire a second time. After a period of being forged in the fire it is has finally arrived… finished… and beautiful… ready to used by the master. So you think…? The Master has plans for it. He may allow it to be used in a day-to-day fashion and even on special occasions. He may place it as a decorative ornament or sold for millions of dollars. Maybe used for a season or placed in storage for another time or place. It may accidentally be tossed to the ground and broken into a million pieces only to be super glued back together. Maybe the plan all along was to be broken and placed together in an odd fashion to create a mural. The possibilities are endless but I trust the potter has plans, I am just glad he was willing to use that simple piece of clay (Which is me) to create something useful for his good pleasure. I am reminded to be thankful that I serve a God that has plans for me. Not only did he allow the things of the past to occur. But goes before me to give me a future and a hope. May my faith in him never waver but stand firm on his promises knowing that he knows what is best for me.