Sometimes we can identify with a lump of clay, sacrificing the form we’d prefer to hold to allow ourselves to be ever-molded by the hands that love and keep us. Other times we might see ourselves as an elegantly crafted vase, unique and beautifully made as God brings us into a new level of glory. But most often, I have found that I identify with the jar of clay that has been dropped to the ground. Suddenly there are a bazillion shattered, scattered pieces. There’s no way it can be put back together. And, oh! Did a piece just fly under the refrigerator? We’ll never get that back! And while we are on our hands and knees trying to scrape all the pieces back together, we start finding all of the dust bunnies that we’ve been ignoring. And now we are left with dirt tangled around the beautiful thing that once was.
There most definitely is a season for everything. A season to be a lump of clay or putty in God’s hands. A mountain-top season where everything seems to be going so well. And that season when spring cleaning should have happen, but we become complacent until a bigger mess revealed just how much work we had been avoiding.
And through all of that, all of the ups and downs and disappointments, through all of the trials and errors, successes and failures, God’s love for you remains exactly the same. He loves you when you give yourself to Him and He loves you when you’re busy and the cobwebs are growing in the corners. I can see Him in my mind, standing in the kitchen, leaning against the counter with His arms and feet crossed. A tiny, kind smile of amusement is on His face as He watches me hurry and worry around, but not over anything important. He’s just waiting for me to drop the jar of clay so that He can reach down, scoop me and the pieces up, and tell me how much He loves me despite my human clumsiness. Whether we identify as a mess or whole, whether we’ve labeled ourselves with a label that society gives us such as divorced, full of anxiety, not good enough, ugly, depressed, or bad, Jesus LOVES us.
God loves us SO much that He sent His son for us so that if we believe in Him we can live with Him forever! (My version of John 3:16)
He didn’t wait for us to clean the house, perfect our décor, or order catering (because we know very well that we can’t cook). He didn’t wait for us to become perfectly abstinent, refraining from immoral relationships, or for us to get our 1-year-sober poker chip. No, God loved us, wait, He loves us, exactly where we are right now. In Romans 5:8, it talks about how God loved us by sending His son even while we were sinners and were of no use to Him. How unbelievable is that? It’s impossible to understand. We aren’t worth anything, but to Him, we are worth EVERYTHING.
If you want, you can find your identity in the mirror. You can wear a “Hello, my name is _____” and fill in the blank yourself, or you can run with the label that society gives you. But in reality you are what God thinks about you and who He says you are. When you finally grasp how much your Creator loves you despite all your clumsiness, then and only then will you have discovered your authentic identity. You will know who you are and how you are loved, and you will be able to share that with others. Your current state of clay won’t matter because you will know that in any case you are in the hands of the One who loves you with all He has.