I read something this morning that I was blessed by & ordinarily I’d have tucked the accompanying thought away but felt I needed to write an impromptu post instead – I trust this will encourage some of you.
I was reading Psalm 119 when I came to verse 73 – check it out:
Your hands made me and formed me…
This was something of a hyperlink for me to Jeremiah 18 where Jeremiah is led by the Holy Spirit to observe a Potter working at his wheel. Jeremiah sees the Potter reforming a clay pot in his hands that, as the Bible says, was marred – a pretty strong word indicating that the appearance of the clay pot was badly spoilt.
A clay pot needed to be functional (i.e. no holes) but it also needed to be aesthetically pleasing (i.e. not wonky). Sure, if a clay pot was wonky but without holes it could still do a job, but it would have been a functional embarrassment to the owner for that to be sat as a centrepiece on the dinner table.
For a pot like this, marred is a strong word because it’s another hyperlink for me, this time to Isaiah 52:14 where the crucified Christ is described as being,
so disfigured…beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness…
In one second, we’ve moved from thinking about a wonky/leaky clay pot to imagining our Jesus’ face and body so brutalised and disfigured that He wasn’t recognisable anymore as a human being – He literally wouldn’t have been recogniseable as Jesus of Nazareth.
Like the Potter’s pot with Jeremiah looking on, you and I are being reformed by this same Jesus. In the natural it wouldn’t have been possible to take a wonky/leaky clay pot and reform it – once the vessel was baked it would have been hard and brittle, breaking into pieces if dropped or pressed to be reshaped.
But the point of these passages is that Jesus, the One literally beaten to a pulp for our reshaping, is able to reform the hardest of hearts and is reshaping us all into the shapes that seem best to Him. (Jer.18:4).
Forget beach bodies, forget magazine beauty, forget fitting in and keeping up appearances; the point of Psalm 119:73, the point of Jermiah 18:4, the point of Isaiah 52:14 is that Jesus has the power and authority to make of your life, and mine, any shape that He wants. He is able to defy all natural law and, with the living water of His Spirit, soften the hardness and insecurity, the bits of you that are at breaking point, and caress into malleability again all of you so that you would take on the beautiful shape of His hands.
Regardless of what your opinion is of yourself, regardless of what others have said, you are worthy as the centrepiece of the table of the King. You are made in His image. You define beauty because you were made by the Definer of beauty.
Your body shape, your attractiveness to others, the scintillating magnetism of your personality – these things that we are so enchanted by? No…that you were made and formed by the very hands of God, when you were a cell, the seed of your Father in the womb of your Mother, in the secret place of Psalm 139.
Listen again to the intimacy of this, from the Psalmist:
Your hands made me and formed me
If you’ll let them, these seven words (seven words representing perfection) will lure you in again to the living water of His Spirit, the transcendent imminance of His presence, the immense patience of His Father’s heart and the tenderness of your Maker’s hands.