Shaped By It

This past week, we had the privilege of meeting with all the full-time missionaries on our team here in Papua New Guinea. We discussed many different things. Some things were discussed out of necessity. Other things were discussed to confirm unity. Still other things were meant to encourage, edify and help us all keep looking for what our Savior is doing in, through, and around us. 
One comment that was made that particularly got my attention was, “Our ministry this past year wasn’t determined by the pandemic—it was shaped by it.” As our team reflected on the complexities that Covid-19 brought on campus, into various churches, around the country, and around the globe, I couldn’t help but marvel at this perspective. We all start out as a lump of clay in the hands of the Potter. It is HIS will, HIS way, in HIS time that we become the vessel HE desires for us and with the purpose that HE intends. Can we argue with that? 
 Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Rom. 9:20b-21) 
 Much like the above-mentioned insight from a team mate, our lives are not determined by the circumstances we find ourselves in—they are shaped by them. Do we accept them gladly? Do we seek to make much of the task our Maker puts before us? Do we desire the more glorified uses of pottery such as a vase or delicate masterpiece, or are we content to be a common bowl or cup? This line of thinking was challenging in the best way for me. What am I doing with the tasks set before ME? I wasn’t particularly pleased with the road set before us after our tickets were canceled and rebooked for the 5th time this past year. I was discouraged. (My Bible study group can attest to that!) However, I failed to realize that my Precious Savior was shaping me. He was USING that time to hone, refine and renew the woman He has made me to be! 
As you read this today, I wonder, what is God shaping IN YOU??? My prayer, as a fellow piece of pottery, is that we embrace where we find ourselves and look unto the Potter for the shaping!!!