Life is always changing. It's inevitable. For our family, it's as if the Lord took the elements of our lives in His hands and just threw them up into the air. So for now, we're just waiting to see where everything settles.
If we didn't know the Lord as well as we do, if we neglected to remember all the times that He came through in similar situations, if we didn't completely trust His ways and timing, we might be a mess right now. But we're not. We take solace in knowing that if all we know turns to dust and it means that we have to start over, it's okay because God uses dust to create new things.
He formed us from the dust of the earth. That word can mean dry earth, dust, ashes, or debris. So when life leaves you sitting a heap of ashes or the debris of unfortunate circumstances, take heart! God is about to create something new!
When the potter wants to reuse the clay from a pot that cracked, he takes the broken pieces and grinds them into powder. Then water is added to rehydrate the clay. But that is not enough to ensure that the clay will not crack again during firing. So, sand or stone is added to "temper" the clay. Temper, or "grog" as it's more commonly called is stone or shell that has been ground down to a certain size mesh, like the size of sand sugar, or small pebbles. By adding the right amount of this gritty grog, the created piece is less likely to crack when under the intense heat of the firing oven because it lowers the plasticity of the clay and makes the pot more permeable. It helps the created piece remain truer to size and form and adds stability.
As with earthly clay, when we are humbled, God can create something new that is stronger, truer, and more stable-resistant to the enemy's fiery darts. In Ephesians 5, Paul admonishes us to walk as children of God and warns us of the evils that prevail on earth. He reminds us that we live in an evil world and that there is a battle to wage.
This grit that has been ground out of the ashes of our failures, past experiences, and life lessons causes us to become stronger and unbreakable when the potter is finished re-fashioning our lives. The new permeability that it adds allows the Holy Spirit to flow more easily through us into the world. What a wonderful thought. A broken life is never wasted by the Lord. He takes our brokenness and remakes it into something more beautiful and useful.
So if you're life feels like a heap of ashes or a pile of dust right now, be of good cheer! Don't allow discouragement to leave you useless. It doesn't mean your life is over. God is going to take the pulverized areas of your life and re-create you into a useful vessel that He can use. As Patsy Clairmont's book title says, "God Uses Cracked Pots."
Israel's life and existence seemed to be over but God said to them, "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth, shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Is 43:19
God remembers that we are dust. We need to remember that too. Dust in the hand of a Redeemer who is also creative can become a beautiful creation. To God-the potter, it's never over!