Beautifully Restored

(Kintsugi pottery replica made by Jenny M. Church, author’s daughter.)

We are all lumps of clay in the Master Potter's hands. God is God; He created us for a purpose. When we find that purpose, it makes all the difference in the world. First, though, some of us have to go through His restoration process.

Rebellion

Many of us rebel against how God made us and that leads us down broken paths when we decide not to follow Him.

Romans 9:20-21 TPT says, "Who do you think you are to second-guess God? How could a human being molded out of clay say to the one who molded Him, 'Why in the world did you make me this way?' Or are you denying the right of the potter to make out of clay whatever he wants? Doesn't the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay an elegant vase or an ordinary pot?"

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No matter what we look like, what our gifts or talents are or what family we were born into, whether we are rich or poor, we all have to make a decision about whether or not we are going to follow God's will for our lives.

God sees us for what we will become. He also sees the ways we have failed Him but tells us, time and time again, that if we repent and turn to Him, we will be saved because He alone is God.

Common Clay Pots?

Our bodies are like dust, and to dust they will one day return. They are like the everyday common clay pots and dishes those in biblical times used to eat their meals on.

The difference between us and those utensils is God's presence lives inside of us. "We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God's, not ours," (2 Cor. 4:7, TPT).

The problem is that dishes get broken and so do we. Our dreams get dashed. People fail us. We fail ourselves. We do bad things that we can't undo and feel, just like the broken dish we threw in the trash, that there is nothing good left in us. If a broken dish needs to be thrown away, then what should be done with a broken person? God, though, sees value in everything. He will use our brokenness to make something truly beautiful from our lives.

Value in Brokenness

Last Christmas, my daughter gave me a gift I cherish. She crafted it herself with much thought about what I would like. She intentionally broke a bowl and then mended it, similar to the Japanese art called Kintsugi in which broken pottery is repaired with a combination of gold dust and adhesive resin.

The cracks, the brokenness, are not hidden but become the highlight of the piece, making it unique with character of its own. No two pieces are ever alike, sort of like you and me and the 7.9 billion other people on the planet.

We are all just broken clay pots and we tend to focus on our brokenness. We feel we are beyond repair and any usefulness to God. We think God should just toss us out with the trash. However, we don't realize that He doesn't look at us like we look at ourselves.

What we see as broken, He sees as beautiful. Where we see failure, He sees opportunity for growth. When we feel we have come to the end of our resources, He sees we have just begun to tap into His storehouse. What we see as something that is lacking worth, He sees as complete and of immeasurable value.

Broken People

We can be ordinary cups, saucers and bowls. We can remain safe and secure without taking any ventures forward, not wanting to fall or do something wrong. We can take what we see as the safe path or we can step out, jump off that cliff of faith and risk everything, including being completely broken.

We may become shattered in so many pieces we can't even remember our original shape. When we do, it may bring us to the end of what we can do for ourselves and even what others can do for us.

This is a good thing; we have finally come to the end of our resources. It is only then that we are ready to make the journey to the Master Potter.

Restoration Process

He takes what we think are ruined pieces, unusable parts, ruptured feelings and begins to work His magic. He cleans our shattered edges, mends our innermost parts and washes clean our ruptured feelings.

Then, with the genuineness of His touch, He seals the cracks to make an original piece of art like none other. What was once an ordinary piece of dinnerware becomes a treasure for art galleries.

The Master Potter knows He cannot use us when we won't embrace or even acknowledge our imperfections. We want to be perfect when He sees us, so we try to hide our flaws, our difficulties and our struggles. We stuff them; we ignore them; we don't admit they are even there, though they are only taking us deeper into desperation.

Power for the Process

The Master Potter, though, is the only One who sees us all the time and knows us completely. He knows us so well that He knows we need Him. He knows we will be useless without His power energizing us.

He tells us, "Never doubt My mighty power to work in you and accomplish everything you need. I will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! I will outdo them all, for My miraculous power is what will constantly energize you when you submit to Me," (Eph. 3:20, TPT, modifications emphasized).

Only by, with and through His power do we have the capability of becoming something beyond the scope of anything we could ever imagine. God will do the impossible in our lives if we simply surrender to Him.

Surrender Begins the Process

Proverbs 22:4 (TPT, modifications emphasized) says, "Laying our lives down in tender surrender before the Lord is the only thing that will bring life, prosperity, and honor as our reward."

Our surrender begins the process of restoration led by God Himself. As we join in the process, we learn how we can become vessels of use and purpose. More than that, though, just being in His presence makes us new. We have destiny. We have a beauty that has nothing to do with outward appearance and everything to do with the gold that is now an integral part of the true essence of us.

Every day, as we look at the gold that has filled our chipped, scratched, ripped, torn, shattered and broken pieces, we are reminded of the patience and artistry of the One who took the time to resurrect us.

New Creations

We are new creations. The old us is definitely gone. We have been enfolded into the Master Potter and have become entirely new people. All that was related to the old person who was us has vanished. I look and I see that everything about me has been made fresh and new. I have been renewed. You have been renewed (2 Cor 5:17, NIV).

We have been beautifully restored by the Master. Nothing can take away our beauty when we have undergone His restoration process.

For more on this topic, check out Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast episode 97: The Master Potter. Read this article also on teresashieldsparker.com.

Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight-loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN.

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