SHADOWS AND SUNSHINE
The kinds of sermons you see are infinitely better than the ones you hear. God invited Jeremiah to "see" a sermon one day by directing him to the house of the town potter. So Jeremiah went down to the potter's house, and watched. He saw the potter spinning his wheel, molding a vessel, then destroying it and molding it again…better, stronger, more flawless. Over and over again, the potter took the spoiled vessels—cups, bowls, pitchers—and remade them "as it pleased the potter to make." All around there was evidence of the potter's handiwork: strong, sturdy pieces of earthenware, shaped to perfection by his hands. And also there were broken pieces, too hardened to reshape and left on the shop floor as castaways.
Do you see an application there? I do. In my life, I want perfection, not pain. I want sunshine, not shadows. If today is a beautiful day, I want tomorrow to be just like it. I want to be healthy, happy, joyful. I want my wife and children to be well, my friends to be faithful and my days to be filled with excitement and wonder. I don't want clouds—and I certainly don't want thunderstorms. Just give me sunshine and beauty, thank you. But life is not like that, is it? A life that has only sunshine is not a life that is being shaped and formed by God's design. Because He is aiming for perfection—for Christ-likeness—He'll use sunshine and shadow to shape His masterpiece.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me.
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