Jeremiah 18 paints a very vivid picture of the life of a typical.
What has your trip to the potter's house been like for you, or haven't you been there yet? We want to look at MARRED which means to "inflict damage, especially disfiguring damage' or to "impair the soundness, perfection, integrity or to spoil. I know the religious thing to do is to pretend all is well. I can remember going to church in a period of my low, when i didnt feel like shouting, praising or anything for that matter. Just felt broken-hearted, had many questions and no answers coming.
In the service i felt i was at the wrong place, almost every one who went to the microphone had a praise and didnt seem to understand why others didnt feel like it. It was then I realized that our services were selfish and not geared to reach the broken-heated, we were centered around ourselves. I wondered, "God, who will get down in this pit and help me out" I meant through the ministry of the WORD.
It took an experience that wounded me sore for me to realize i was ( Manufactured by Clay - HUMAN ), thats because i was almost always involved in everything in church as long as i could remember myself. Always high spirited, happy, helping others and on the go, never missing services etc. But it came a time when words wounded me sore, this far from my first experience with words, but never in my years of service did words sink so deeply.
I was now disfigured, damaged, seem to have lost soundness, I felt spoilt. Can God get me up from here? I heard someone asked the question "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?" But I wondered can He really heal this pain? Does He care to heal this pain? the scripture says in Proverbs," A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city" We ought to be careful how we offend.
During this period, five times in two weeks I heard this word on the potters house ministered. Five times, I started wondering "Is God mocking me, making light of my feelings, or was He trying to help me?" I was too low to be able to tell, my emotions confused as the WORD that should bring me joy brought me more pain and confusion. How could I be MARRED in the potters hand, how could i lose shape/form right here.
This is not the place or time to be MARRED, worst, not with all the promises of God i received, the prophesies spoken over my life, I dont get it. Have you been there, or are you here right now? God can make you again another vessel. The skillfulness of the potter allows, him power to design, and to re-design. TRUST HIM.
HARDENED BY FIRE - Be encouraged, You seem insignificant, base, clay. The good news is that you can be shaped and will retain you form. You are hardened when exposed to very high temperatures. Trust me, you want the highest temperature, if sun-dried you will collapse if filled with water.
The fire you are gone through or have gone through hardens you to the point you can no longer be molded. Thats good news, nothing will shake you. God has added stuff to your life that minimizes shrinkage, you will not shrink before your enemies, and these ingredients also prevent you cracking during the drying or firing process.
The drying or firing process is crucial because a vessel has no function until hardened by exposure to to high temperature. So yes you were molded and shaped into something beautiful but unless you were hardened by these experiences you would eventual break. Pottery is one of the indicators of the technical and artistic achievements of culture. How He handles our technicalities, your experience boasts of His artistic achievements and abilities of God. God is using you even right now. His strength is being perfected in and through you.
In closing your experience indicates the awesomeness of God, His ability to create and re-create. The most important contribution of it to studies of ancient culture is its value as a dating tool. You are a wonderful piece of dating tool. You are proving to others looking on, that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. You are being used to prove that the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac, is the same and has not lost His power. You are being used to prove that the God who delivered Daniel out of the den of lions in ancient days is the same God of modern times.
God bless you.