Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Something To Think About

I was reading a book that was published in 1870 - no that's not a typo, it's a really old book - and I wanted to share something out of it. The book is considered a classic; "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life" by Hannah Whitall Smith. In the passages she explains how we are to have faith in everything; how we are like clay and the Lord is the Divine Potter. Here are a few excerpts that I really liked. It's a little long, but worth reading.

By a step of faith we put ourselves into the hands of the Divine Potter; by a gradual process He makes us into a vessel unto His own honor, meet for His use, and prepared to every good work. To illustrate this, suppose I were to describe the way in which a lump of clay is made into a beautiful vessel. The potter takes the clay thus abandoned to his working, and begins to mold and fashion it, according to his own will. He kneads and works it; he tears it apart and presses it together again; he wets it and then suffers it to dry. Sometimes he works at it for hours together; sometimes he lays it aside for days, and does not touch it. And then, when by all these processes he has made it perfectly pliable in his hands, he proceeds to make it up into the vessel he has proposed.

The lump of clay could never grow into a beautiful vessel if it stayed in the clay-pit for thousands of years; but when it is put into the hands of a skillful potter it grows rapidly, under his fashioning, into the vessel he intends it to be. And in the same way the soul, abandoned to the working of the Heavenly Potter, is made into a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for his Master's use. Having, therefore, taken the step of faith by which you have put yourself wholly and absolutely into His hands, you must now expect Him to begin His work. His way of accomplishing that which you have entrusted to Him may be different from your way; but He knows, and you must be satisfied.

The lump of clay, from the moment it comes under the transforming hand of the potter is during each day and each hour of the process just what the potter wants it to be at that hour or on that day, and therefore pleases him; but it is very far from being matured into the vessel he intends in the future to make it. The little babe may be all that a babe could be, or ought to be, and may therefore perfectly please its mother; and yet it is very far from being what that mother would wish it to be when the years of maturity shall come. The apple in June is a perfect apple for June; it is the best apple that June can produce; but it is very different from the apple in October, which is a perfected apple. By an act of faith we put ourselves into the hands of the Lord, for Him to work in us all the good pleasure of His will, and then, by a continuous exercise of faith, keep ourselves there. This is our part in the matter. And when we do it, and while we do it, we are, in the Scripture sense, truly pleasing to God, although it may require years of training and discipline to mature us into a vessel that shall be in all respects to His honor, and fitted to every good work. Just as the potter, however skillful, cannot make a beautiful vessel out of a lump of clay that is never put into his hands, so neither can God make out of me a vessel unto His honor, unless I put myself into His hands.

I hope you will read this through a couple of times and put yourself in the Divine Potter's hands. It's a very freeing place to be, knowing that He is in charge.

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