Dear Fellow Clay Pot,
God uses weak people. I love this fact, and I do not meditate on it enough. Brant Hansen dwells richly on this idea in that book I read a few weeks ago (highly recommend! read it!), and the pastor reminded me of it a couple of Sundays ago. We’re all broken-down and God uses us anyway.
I do not remember this situation at all; who I was talking to or what was happening specifically, but I remember I felt totally inadequate for something, and they said something like “No worries, God knows.” and they pointed me to something beautiful: “we have this treasure in jars of clay“. The treasure is the same, but we, as always, are feeble clay pots. Dirt People, as Hansen points out. Entrusted with the most precious thing in the world: the love and very person of God.
And, dear Clay Pot, our clay-pottiness does not negate his loveliness. Nor do our feelings.
Speaking of feelings, part of my clay-pottiness is that I struggle with anxiety. Surfaced in college and haven’t been able to kick it. I started a medicine and have tried to come off of it several times, which has been slightly disastrous. I am just coming off of one such do-it-yourself attempt. As I called my mom this week almost in tears over a 5-second interaction at work that had me in an obsessive-anxious spiral, I realized: I probably do need the medicine. And I hate it. I want so desperately to be self-sufficient. But the Lord reminds me with each dose: you are not as strong as you think you are. My shakiness even this evening tells me that. So my strong-independent-woman self has to be humble and take the darn pill.
And so, it is with great relief that I realize that the value and quality of the treasure I hold has nothing to do with me or my own self-sufficiency or feelings. As I was driving back up from Texas a few weeks ago, I began to thank God that no matter how I feel, he’s still the same God. And I pondered: we tend to craft in our minds either a god we love or a god we fear. I may think to myself at any moment, “God is so nice. He supports my every move!” no matter what on earth I may be doing at the moment. I call this Fluffy God. No real substance, no one, as Lewis says, “pulling at the other end of the cord”. Or I may think, “God is mad at me all the time. He thinks I suck.” Perhaps in a moment of anxiety I feel like he is standing over me telling me to get it together. But praise God, the treasure of who he is remains untouched by this jar of clay. I can think, say, yell, scream, or feel whatever I like, but in the end, there He is: beautiful, loving, just, and incontrovertible. Praise him, praise him! Our feelings have literally no bearing on his existence or his personhood. My anxiety cannot change who he is, and he’s the God who uses even anxious people.
And so back to you, friend, fellow clay pot: I could talk you up here, tell you what a great Clay Pot you are. I’m sure you’re a fabulous one. But you’re chipped. You’re fragile. I don’t know, the cat may have peed on you. You may have peed on you. But God lives in you as the Holy Spirit, and he somehow both has already made you something new and is making you something new. Probably a pot made out of gold, or some other stunning metal we don’t know about yet. Maybe you’re not a pot at all, but a vase, or a tea kettle. Or a knick-knack (kidding; nobody in God’s kingdom is a knick-knack; I’d bet some serious money on that one). Something lovely to contain, no, to let-spill-out, something even lovelier.
Dumb analogy, but if you’re a really chipped, beat-up mug, you can still hold something nice, like delicious hot chocolate. And that’s the point: He is using you! No matter how beat-up you are.
As the song goes: “You make beautiful things…you make beautiful things out of dust.”
So take heart, friends. For out clay, out of anxiety and addiction and disorder and sin, this God rolls up his sleeves, gets to work, and crafts children of the Most High. He uses us now and is making us this: downright kings and queens, full of his joy and his spirit, ready to rule and reign.
an anxious clay pot who is relieved that God uses her still.