The American Revolution took place in part to get rid of the aristocracy, i.e., inherited titles, privileges, and money. We love stories about people who made it big on their own talent, grit, and hard work—we call them self-made men. Well, talent, grit, and hard work are all good things, but the truth is that all of us, without exception, have benefited from the work of others—from mothers and fathers, teachers and pastors, mentors and business partners, critics and adversaries.
And from God. To a remarkable degree we are what God has shaped us to be: “Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel’” (Jeremiah 18:5,6). Our bodies are his design and execution. Our talents are his gifts. Our accomplishments were made possible by opportunities that he sent. Our membership in his family is the gift of Christ.
Adversity that he sent sanded off some of our rough spots and tenderized our hearts. Friends that he provided give us joy and encouragement. Sexuality and marriage, his inventions both, give us intimacy and emotion and human bonding. The Word that he sent explains the meaning of life and gives us purpose.
It is good to be clay in the hands of a skillful Potter.
Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.
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