But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand… Isaiah 64:8
Everything we are and everything we have is from our Creator. Any iota of goodness or strength, all talents, all gifts, all skills, all possessions, all relationships…everything is His, temporarily given to us for His glory. We are given these treasures in jars of clay – not to build our own kingdoms here and now, but to build His, which lasts for eternity.
The ease with which I lose sight of this reality breaks my heart and grieves my spirit.
Samson lost sight of this reality too.
God blessed Samson with superhuman, divine strength – enough to rip apart a lion with his bare hands – in order to defeat the Philistines and deliver Israel, but as we’ll see this week and next, Samson disobeys the Lord many times before fulfilling his intended purpose. He considered his kingdom – his immediate gratification in his short-term focused world – more important than God’s.
Though he was crafted by the Potter to carry out a specific purpose, along the way, he tried to usurp those purposes for his own. And every time, it led to tragedy.
When we attempt to escape the Potter’s hand – when we attempt to reshape ourselves according to our own purposes and desires, it leads to tragedy.
But – by the grace of God – the story doesn’t have to end in tragedy.
Because even when we fall – at times, violently breaking apart – as we genuinely repent in Jesus’ name, grace is offered to us wholly and abundantly. The Potter is not finished. He lovingly puts the pieces back together.
In the Japanese art of kintsugi, broken pieces of pottery aren’t thrown away. Rather they are repaired using a precious metal – liquid gold or silver. The renewed vases, bowls, and plates are treasured for their uniqueness and beauty. The cracks serve to give them character and life, and no two pieces are alike. It’s often called, “the art of precious scars.”
Like Samson, our greatest strengths become our greatest weaknesses when we try to use them outside of what God intended. But our greatest weaknesses can become our greatest strengths when we lay them bare before the Potter. Disobedience is real. Sin is devastating. But Jesus died for us, knowing our rebellion and sin. With his scarred hands, He repairs our broken jars of clay with gold, new life, and offers beauty for ashes…and still invites us to join Him in building His kingdom.
The art of precious scars, indeed.
What extravagant grace.