Reflections (Day 3, from Clandeansing Thoughts)

    Before I knew it, the morning glow was of the sunrise filled the room, replacing the soft glow of the candlelight. I had fallen asleep sometime in the night. I am not sure when, but it seemed as if my dreams took over where my thoughts ended. Even though I had spent hours in deep thought, I felt refreshed and renewed. A reflection is a mirrored image, and I knew if I could somehow look into my heart, I would have seen the Lord for I had truly been in His presence.  I give God all the glory for what He had done in my life, and I look forward to the future He had planned for me with a renewed hope and anticipation.

   When a piece of pottery is made or "thrown," the potter will only work on it a few hours a day, then the greenware, the name given to pottery in this stage, is cut free from the wheel and placed on a shelf to dry until it reaches a leather-like hardness; this stage is called maturing. The pottery will remain on the shelf until it reaches a bone-dry stage when it is completely dry of all external water. Because the potter knows the chemical makeup of the clay, he also knows the exact time it is ready for the firing process. If it is placed in the kiln or ovens too early, it will crack and break. Each piece will go through two firings, the first is called the bisque. this is when the impurities are burned away from the clay. The second firing is done during the glazing process, the glaze is in the form of paint or liquid glass and is applied to the pottery in the bisque stage, at this point, the kiln is much hotter. You see, the beauty and strength of the potter's workmanship depend on the firing. The cooling process alone after being glazed takes three days, but through peepholes in the kiln, the potter never removes his watchful eye from his creation because he knows removal before it is entirely cooled will cause the piece to crack. Once it has been removed, he will then flick the rim, if there is a clanging sound, the piece is returned to the kiln for a third firing. Should he hears a ringing sound, the potter knows the piece is ready for use. However, there is one more step the potter must do, the piece is scrutinized for flaws that may have occurred in the firing process. He will watch for any place where the glaze may have separated or changed colors that may have caused an uneven finish. To people with an untrained eye, these flaws render the piece of lesser value, but to others, it is sought after for its uniqueness and considered to be of great value.

   When we look at our lives as a piece of pottery, we can better understand the process of maturing in the Lord and becoming a vessel of honor fit for the master's use. I have seen stages of my own life that compare to the work of the potter. I know to the eyes of the world, I would be considered flawed, rendered of lesser value, marred in the hands of the potter; but when the time comes for me to be scrutinized, it is my prayer that He will find me of great value. That after I have endured the furnace of affliction, I am able to offer a sweet sound to my Lord and Savior. That I am found wearing the garment of praise and a robe of righteousness.

   But, child of God hear my words, many times in my walk I have stumbled. Just as this piece of pottery there is nothing impossible with God. Sometimes after prolonged use, a piece of pottery becomes cracked and chipped or even stained, but there is still hope. The potter will scrape and file the piece then once again temper it in the fire to renew its strength and beauty. Just as with our Heavenly Potter, nothing is so marred in His hands that it cannot be restored.

   Oh, precious child of God, I do not know where you are in the process of his workmanship, but I do know He sees you of great value, and the time will come when you will be removed from the shelf and be used by the Lord. Until then, remember, "Those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31, NJKV).

   Perhaps it is time for you to get away to a quiet spot so you can reflect on your life, look back through His Word, and you will see how far you have come. Then look at your life now, again through His Word, and you will see who you are becoming in Him; then you will be able to look ahead with a grateful heart for the work He has done. 

   Let's pray, "Oh, precious child of God, may you see yourself through the eyes of your Heavenly Potter, who has fashioned you while you were yet in your mother's womb with greatness in mind. His thoughts of you are greater in number than the sands of the earth. And, though you may endure the furnace of affliction for a season, joy will come in the morning! Then you shall be given a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and covered in a robe of righteousness. May He fill the brokenness of your heart with His light and cover the cracks with gold, that He may be glorified. In the name of Jesus, we pray."








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