Dust and Clay

Do you know what clay is? It is a stiff, sticky fine-grained earth. It can be molded when wet, and dried and heated to make bricks, pottery, and ceramics. Clay derives from the decomposition of rocks and soil.

Essentially, clay is dust.

Now, are you a fan of action movies? I am. I mean, really, who doesn’t love the far fetched spectacular physical action; a narrative emphasis on fights, chases, and explosions?! Seeing a building toppling down on our hero, only to see him stirring awake, arising from the debris?

Do you ever notice that the hero is covered in dust? And the air around him is dusty as he’s coughing? Things can be broken into dust. Sure, there may be big pieces of broken walls, but there is a lot of dusty rubble too.

Now let me ask you, do some of the things in your life feel like a broken, crumbling, dusty mess? Do you find yourself coughing, surrounded by all the dust? Are you covered in it? Because, I’ll be honest, sometimes I do.

Sometimes some of the things in my life feel like a crumbling building. Collapsing into dust, it’s not reparable like a broken vase that can be glued. We would scratch our heads if we saw someone trying to glue dust together. It just cannot be done.

Maybe someone close in your life passed away. Maybe a good friendship ended. Maybe you did not get the job, or promotion. Maybe you failed that college assignment. Maybe you are going through a divorce. Maybe you haven’t met Mr/Mrs. Right yet. Maybe things are financially unstable. Maybe you just cannot make it out on your own right now, and are still at home.

“This is not how it is supposed to be,” you say.

And so, it feels like our lives are crumbling around us. We are coughing, covered in dust. Nothing is going the way we planned, the way we wanted. We cannot fix it, it is dust. So, what is the point?

“This is not how it is supposed to be” can make you feel distraught and unsatisfied.

But clay is dust, and it can be molded.

See, we are not our own god. There is nothing in this world that we have control over. Not even ourselves. It is okay to make plans, or enjoy the journey of life. But it should never cross our minds whether things are going the way they should. Because how should things go? Our definition of what we think is best for us is not necessarily the definition of what God says is best for us.

This may sound harsh, but maybe it is meant to collapse into dust? Only because we are not meant to fix it ourselves. God wants the best for us. What we think is best may not necessarily be best.

But here is something God can do that we cannot: he can turn the dust into clay. He can take the broken dust in our lives, wet it, and shape it into what he knows is best for us. God can take whatever it is we perceive as bad, and make it into the greatest and best thing in our lives.

God knows what’s best for you. Are you willing to let him shape you and your life?

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8

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