There is surely nobody who can say they do not have a favourite item. Be it an item of clothing, a chair, possibly a holiday destination, a coffee shop or even (as in my case) a favourite mug!
Can you believe it … a favourite mug indeed!
This mug, colourful with yellows, greens and shades of red and orange, was bought shortly after I moved to England from South Africa almost fifteen years ago. It was my “breakfast cup” and faithfully held my tea every morning for virtually 14 years (except of course when I was away from home!).
Over the years this old mug had acquired some battle scars. Altercations with the dishwasher or fellow mugs maybe …. Whatever the cause, my mug became somewhat chipped and faded over the years. But let it go? No. I was attached to it and loved having it around. Even when I was given a beautiful mug to “replace” it, it stood in a little corner in the kitchen – just maybe I could find another use for it …
The time came when I had to bid it farewell and it joined other items for recycling.
Thinking back on the old chipped cup, I couldn’t help but think about the prophet Jeremiah. He illustrates God’s intentions with and for us so wonderfully when he describes how the Lord sent him to the potter’s house. The potter was making something at his wheel. Jeremiah noticed that when the first jar the potter made didn’t turn out as he had hoped, he squashed it back into a lump of clay and started making it over again until he was completely satisfied with the finished product.
(Read the full story in Jeremiah 18:1-10)
The Lord showed Jeremiah (and us!) that He is able to crush us and destroy us. However, and most importantly, if we are willing to repent and turn to Him, He is longing to make us new … a vessel fit for the Master’s use. He makes all things new.
The old mug is a poor illustration indeed. Having thrown it out for recycling, it could potentially end up being something someone could possibly use again.
I was further reminded of a beautiful song written many years ago which is so meaningful … it reminds me of what the Lord did for me when He found and saved me over 40 years ago now – praise His glorious Name!
“The Potter saw a vessel that was broken by the wind and rain and He sought with so much compassion, to make it over again. O I was that vessel, that no one thought was good. I cried Lord, You’re the Potter and I am the clay, make me over again today. Then God picked up the pieces of my broken life that day and He made me a new vessel, and revived my soul again”. 1
So, unlike the old chipped mug, if we come to Jesus, broken, chipped, scarred and feeling utterly useless, lonely and lost, He is waiting to do a miracle in our lives and make us over anew. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
(1 Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to track who wrote it but am reliably informed that it is in the public domain)