One day I pondered why so many people lack hope. A few weeks ago, I had problems with my backyard flooding practically every time there was a hard rain. Therefore, a drainage system was installed to force the water from the back of the yard to the front. One evening, I went outside to see if the grass was starting to grow in the areas where the trenches were dug to lay the PVC pipes. As I was looking down, I noticed a small mound of something that was brownish black. When I looked closer, it appeared to be a pile of doggie dunk. Now my curiosity was peeked because a wood fence runs from the sides of my home and covers the entire backyard. In addition, the wood fence sits on top of a cement block. So…I thought, “How did a dog get in the yard?” I kept looking and saw more piles of what I thought was doggie dunk. So…I asked my friend who was visiting at the time to come and look and tell me what he thought. To my surprise without hesitation he said, “Oh, that’s clay.” I’m thinking, “What, clay!” As I leaned in closer to look, although it still looked like doggie dunk, what he said made sense. He explained, that the people laying the PVC must have used clay to seal the pipes together.
The other morning around 3:30am, about a week after discovering the clay in the back yard, I woke up with that piece of clay on my mind. Odd right. I was like, “Really Lord, I’m sleepy.” But I couldn’t go back to sleep. I just kept thinking about that lump of clay. A lump of clay that was supposed to be used to seal the pipes was instead laying in my back yard wasting away. A lump of clay that may no longer have a purpose; thus, no longer can be used. Then it came to me (You know the ah ha moment). The clay could actually represent people. Yes, people! People can be just like the hard clay in my yard. Their purpose is not being fulfilled; i.e. gifts and talents are wasted.
I was reminded of Jeremiah 18:3-4, “Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.” Without going into the details of this biblical story, what God reminded me of through that lump of clay is that He is the Potter. As the Potter he made all of us for a purpose and He doesn’t toss us away when that purpose isn’t fulfilled. People can impose on our lives and hinder our ability to exercise our gifts or talents. But more often than not, we foolishly and carelessly neglect the use of our gifts and talents. We form a hardened heart. Others recognize our worth but we don’t. We’ve even been selected to participate with others but because our behavior says that we don’t want to participate, we’re set aside. That’s probably what came to mind with the pipe layers. They got to this particular piece of clay and noticed that it had started to harden and decided it couldn’t be of any use. Thus, they tossed it aside.
Sometimes, we appear as a dried up lump of clay unable to be used. But there is HOPE…the God that made us, the Potter, will pick us up, and make us new again. He’ll shape us into a new form or refresh and renew the original form. When God picks us up and softens us by placing us back on the wheel and clean us up from the inside out, we’re once again made ready to go forth and fulfill our purpose. This is a call for all of us to arise and be our best. You have been granted another chance!