Posted by Murray Smith

But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” Jeremiah 18:4

Our country is weeping in the aftermath of the recent storms and fires in Cape Town and along the Garden Route. Sadly many lives have been lost, including those of the fearless fire-fighters, who unselfishly laid down their lives for the sake of others. The love response from many ordinary South Africans to these natural disasters has been magnificent, as practical support has flooded in for those in desperate circumstances. Perhaps our country is less divided than some would have us believe. Let’s keep it up!

As we reflect on these natural disasters …

God is always CLOSER than we think – He wants to get our attention!

God is God and we are human. God will use every situation and circumstance in our busy often distracted lives to get our attention, including natural disasters. God got Jeremiah’s attention in the Potter’s House, a place where ordinary, everyday useful goods were made. He spoke to Jeremiah that day in a powerful way which Jeremiah could have listened to or not. We have the same choice, to listen or not.

God is always KINDER than we think – He loves to re-work damaged goods!

When God shapes a life He does it extremely well. Like the highly skilled potter God uses the whole of our lives, the good and the not so good, self-created disasters and natural ones, to shape our lives for His purposes. When He discovers a broken pot He does not throw it away, He does not call for another lump of clay; He simply starts again with infinite patience and incredible skill. The pot will be much better this time.

God is always more JUST than we think – He wants us to decide and not delay!

Israel was not paying attention to God. For forty years Jeremiah warned the people of impending disaster unless they repented and turned to God. We too are often stubborn and unrepentant in our private and public life. Natural disasters warn us once again of human frailty and the need to be ready and in right standing before a Holy and Just God.

Prayer: Father we pray for encouragement and hope for all those directly affected by the recent natural disasters in our nation. We pray that we will all respond to your ongoing shaping of our frail lives into your image. Today we gladly yield to the Potter’s Hands.