I am sitting in the hospital in Virginia as my dad recovers from an amputation that was necessary because he developed an infection in his right leg. He has sure been through the mill. Retiring after pastoring the same church more than 50 years. He was still preaching from time to time until late last year when he suffered a stroke. Since that time he has required a great deal of care. Some wonder and have asked, why doesn’t God take him? Mom hovers over him not remembering from moment to moment where he is and what happened to him. She suffers from Alzheimers. Why is she still here?
A dear friend, Dr Fred Carroll sent out a letter yesterday that was so timely. I asked him if I could use his letter. He kindly agreed. He says it better than I can. Here is his letter:
WE ARE NOT THE POTTER, WE ARE ONLY CLAY.
Years ago when I became pastor of Central Baptist Church ( January 1,1998) there was a man, Philip Minni that was in charge of making sure the 10 acres of grass on the property was cut each week. Saturday October 6, Phil will be 97 years old.
I visited Phil for over 14 years (once a week) — first, as a shut-in at his home, then in his small apartment at the Friends House in Sandy Spring, MD and then in their nursing home, where he is now..
In 2017 he had lost most of his current memory, and at times did not know who I was. But each week he would carry on a conversation and we would talk of the Lord. Phil said many times “He did not know how people could live without Christ being their personal S
He still is living and will celebrate 97 years the Lord has given him this Saturday. Why is he still here on earth?? I really don’t know, but you know what, the Heavenly Potter does!!!
I am now 76+ years old. There are many aches and pains that we experience every day that come with older age. I am reminded of Hebrews 9:27 “and as it is appointed unto man once to die” which all of us must do one day, it is inevitable. But praise the Lord for v 28 “so Christ was once delivered to bear the sins of many”
Jannette & I have accepted Christ as our personal Savior as did Phil Minni many years ago.
So why are we still here?? Well, that brings me to the holy Scripture for the answer:
Jeremiah 18:1-4 (KJV)
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Isaiah 45:9 (KJV)
9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
You see we are not the potter. We are only clay. The proper thing for the clay to do is to trust the Potter and yield to His skillful hands. The Reformer Ulrich Zwingli (1484- 1531) once wrote to a friend: “I beseech Christ for this one thing daily, that He will enable me to endure all things courageously, and that He break me as a potter’s vessel or make me strong, as it pleases Him.”
The question is, are we willing to trust the Potter? Do we really believe that He knows best, designs best, shapes best and fashions best? If we have truly given our hearts to God for our salvation, we can trust Him to transform us into something useful and beautiful. It seems hard to believe, doesn’t it, but it is because He is not even close to being finished yet working things out in our lives. Our Savior is taking the time to work on the parts of our lives that are lumpy and off-centered. Some parts He may need to smash down and raise up all over again. Will we really trust Him – really trust Him – to do what is best??
Adelaide Pollard (1862-1934) wrote a hymn for willing clay, the kind of clay that stays on the wheel to be shaped in the Potter’s hands:
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will.
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Hold over my being absolute sway!
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!
May the above thoughts be a blessing to you – no matter what your age or circumstances – and encourage you at this time of your life – October 3, 2018.
Your brother in Christ, Frederick W. Carroll “a piece of clay in the Divine Potter’s hands.”
Thank you Dr Carroll. The above words are so true and very appropriate for me at this time. We are In The Potter’s Hands. Dad and Mom are in His loving hands. He knows best. Dad always said he wanted to wear out and not rust out. Well, he is pretty much worn out – but, yes, still in the Potter’s hands. Mom is too. You are too. So am I. And thankful to be there – IN THE POTTER’S HANDS.