Monday, April 15, 2013

Trusting the Hands of the Potter to Transform His Clay

One of my devotionals was posted on the Rest Ministries’ website today and sent out via subscription. Most often when writing words of encouragement to others in a devotional, my intent is to focus on the message that God has helped me to discover as my challenges overwhelm me. 
A reader, who deals with the same challenges, wrote to me after a devotional of mine posted some months ago. She was grateful to have found another who knows how she feels and what she experiences, as I had been a bit more specific about my chronic condition. She told me that she appreciated my bringing “vestibular dysfunction” to the awareness of readers. It had me rethinking my focus - not for every devotional - but to state with more vulnerability what it is that God has helped me deal with for decades. 
Thus, the following devotional is for now, and for whoever may find a blessing in it, and perhaps a kindred soul on this life journey who understand because she/he is walking the same path.
To view the devotional as posted on the Rest Ministries’ website,

There have been some beautiful responses that help me to know that others are now more aware of the writer behind the words and the One who is guiding me along His way. To share that is a blessing.

Trusting the Hands of the Potter to Transform His Clay

 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; 
so the potter formed it into another pot, 
shaping it as seemed best to him” (Jeremiah 18:4).
A friend told me years ago that she had never known anyone to be, so literally, on the Potter’s wheel as I am!

I have lived with vestibular dysfunction - constant dizziness, eruptions of internal spinning vertigo, related bouts with nausea and a striving to keep my balance - since March of 1983. The cause is unknown though doctors believe a virus hit my right inner ear as evidence of damage is there.
It hit in one instant, has refused to leave, and has defied all treatments. 

In early March, 2013, a differing form of vertigo hit, blindsiding me with its vengeance. 

Similar in debilitation, it has a differing trigger and was diagnosed as BPV ( benign positional vertigo). 

There is a therapy that has been successful for others in correcting this. I sought its help, praying for relief. The process is a nightmare putting one into a vertigo state in hopes that small crystals, flaked off and  lodged in a semi-circular canal of the labyrinth, where they do not belong, will return and stick in the part of the inner ear where they do. 
As I write this devotional, early April, I have chosen to stop the treatments as there has been no signs of improvement, no guarantee that any will emerge. My therapist is in agreement as she has witnessed the agony I was enduring, unlike  other patients of hers in the past. I am choosing to let the Potter work with me on his own.
In the context of this Jeremiah verse, the clay the potter was working with was flawed as Israel needed to repent of its ways and be reshaped
However, my vestibular system, though newly flawed, falls, more directly into the translation given in the New Century Version of this verse:
He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, 
but something went wrong with it. 
So he used that clay to make another pot 
the way he wanted it to be”( Jeremiah 18:4 NCV).

God’s care in transforming each of us is personally designed for the clay that is “us”.  He alone can accomplish the transformation because He loves and knows his original design. 
 Lord, I know I am safe in your caring hands although the transformation process is hard. Remaining still in spirit, if not body, I put my trust in You as You complete your work in me. Amen.

Jamie Zach is a talented potter who invited me  
to come to his studio and take photos of him at work at his wheel.

 Audrey Assad sings of the restlessness we each experience until we surrender to rest in the caring hands of the Lord. This is not easily done when we are being transformed on the Potter’s wheel but paradoxically, it is only in surrender that we can release the restlessness. May her song soothe you as you let its message come inward and settle you.

Click here to listen to the song.