You know the one I’m talking about, right?
Back when I was a kid I would run races with my friends. If I didn’t quite nail my first step at the starting block I would shout “do over!” – signaling to my friends that we needed to begin again. And this happened several times during a game of Monopoly when I wasn’t satisfied with the roll of the dice. “Do over!”
And then there was the time the first lick off my ice cream cone resulted in the mound of delicious Rocky Road landing on the concrete. Although, admittedly, this sounded a little more like “Mom, I need another one!”
Since becoming an adult, my do overs (if I were allowed any) would be more extreme.
It could be unkind words that slipped from my tongue before I could catch them. “Do over!”
Or perhaps I made a commitment to someone and then realized how much time it would consume from my already busy schedule. “Do over!”
Or what about the gossip I spoke to a friend when I shouldn’t have uttered a word. “Major do over!”
Life would truly be interesting – and take far longer to accomplish – if we could do over every moment that didn’t suit us. We ache to take back those words, recalculate that decision or just wipe the slate completely clean and begin again.
Oh, how grateful I am that God doesn’t have this attitude about who I am.
When we see God sending Jeremiah to the potter’s house, he uses the example of reshaping the clay to speak the analogy of what can be done to us through His grace.
The NIV describes the clay as being “marred.” Meaning that it wasn’t quite what the potter had in mind. It was disfigured. It’s possible that the clay had become too soft and it was hard to work with, giving it a misshapen look. Or maybe it wasn’t moist enough which made it too stiff. Instead of throwing the clay out, the potter reworks it using all of those techniques that only he knows in order to perfect his masterpiece.
Have you ever stopped to look at that marred clay that is your life after accepting Christ? When I do, I notice that from the moment I look down to inspect the flaws He is already at work, smoothing out the surface once again with His grace. Shaping us to be perfect and complete in His perfection. Continuing a good work.
So often I worry about making a wrong choice. I wonder if I’m not hearing His voice clearly enough which causes me to take off down the wrong path of disobedience.
But I no longer shout the words “do over.”
I remember that there is a Potter who loves me enough to embrace me. His hands surround me, shaping the imperfections of my clay with the love of a Father and One who makes all things good.
In the end I know that my mishaps and mistakes will be shaped into something wonderful for His glory. And suddenly, that disfigurement is a beautiful thing.
“Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to smooth out the imperfections in my life. To work through the marring until I am perfect in who you are. Have your own way, Lord. For you are the potter and I am the clay.”