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Carefully Shaped

Here is another message to Jeremiah from the Lord: Go down to the shop where clay pots and jars are made and I will talk to you there. I did as he told me, and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar that he was forming didn't turn out as he wished, so he kneaded it into a lump and started again.

Then the Lord said: O Israel, can't I do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand. Jeremiah 18:1-6 (TLB)

Beverly Taylor lives in Arizona. Her neighbor has a beautiful tree, a spreading green canopy with a gentle shape. Its loveliness is no surprise because her neighbor is fully dedicated to caring for and shaping her tree. Beverly has watched her gently clip any wayward tangled leaf or stem, choosing what cut will make the best shape. After a battering storm she vigorously pruned the broken or damaged branches. Watching this process for several years, Beverly has realized it holds a significant spiritual lesson: God shapes our imperfect lives.

Just as her neighbor shapes her tree, God is molding Beverly through everyday circumstances. God can use even shattering storms to do good work in Beverly. The same holds true for each of us too. Beverly has experienced deep devastating sorrow that ripped everything from her until all she could cling to was the simple belief that "Jesus loves me, this I know!" Through these crushing times Beverly often wondered, How could all these difficult things possibly be working together for my good?

Beverly is learning to trust that God is dedicated to forming her into a better version of herself. Her neighbor's tree is a beautiful reminder that God is carefully shaping Karen and us.

Prayer: Thank you, Creator, for knowing just where we need your love to reshape our lives. Make us ready to do your work in the world, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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