Monday, March 26, 2007


Romans 9:19-29

Today, many of us resent the thought of living ordinary, unspectacular lives. There is a contemporary worship song with the title “The Potter’s Hand”. One line repeats itself a couple of times during the chorus: “I give my life into the Potter’s hand.” Singing this song as a teenager, while I knew the song was about surrender, what I really sang in my heart was something more like, “I give my life to you, O Potter, but you must make me into a beautiful pot!”

The illustration of the potter in this passage may be unsettling at first glance. It seems to imply that there are some that God makes into beautiful vessels while the rest of us are doomed to be ordinary, run-of-the-mill, generic, uncreative, plain brown pots. Medieval priests preached the idea that there was a divine order in God’s creation. Some of us were born to be peasants in servitude, while others were predestined to be rulers and aristocrats. Could this passage be a chilling piece of support for such theology?

Reading on, however, shows us God’s true intentions:

“I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies;
I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.
In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!”
they’re calling you “God’s living children.”
- Romans 9:25-26 (The Message) -

God’s living children. That is who we are. The question, “Why did you make me like this?” (v. 20) is thus a complaint from a pot that does not realise its own purpose and potential. Would a lone pot be able to grumble and whine without reference to other pottery? Certainly not. It is our habit of comparing ourselves with those around us that yields dissatisfaction and disillusionment. “Oh, if only I could sing like V!” “What wouldn’t I give to have the looks of C!” “Sigh, I’m just not as athletic as A!”

God has shaped each and every one of us in a unique, inimitable way. In fact, in the “upside-down” Kingdom of God (Matt. 20:16), it is the most humble that have the greatest potential to be His most useful vessels (Luke 18:14).

Perhaps what we need to do is to ask the same question, albeit in a different way. Instead of a complaining “Why?”, let’s ask God a curious “Why?”

Ask God today, “Hmm… why did you make me like this, Lord? I’m sure you had a reason in mind!” Write down whatever comes to you. Remember, though, that this is just the beginning of the Search.

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