Jeremiah 18:1-6, "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 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. Then the word of the LORD came to me. He said, "Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?" declares the LORD."
"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again."
This ancient verse was probably originally a riddle. Humpty's got a problem. He's fallen. He's broken. An egg is a fragile thing. Who can possibly put a smashed egg back together again? It is a riddle and we want to know what is the answer?
J.R. Vassar writes about ministering in Myanmar (Burma) and coming upon a broken Buddha: "One day we were prayer walking through a large Buddhist temple, when I witnessed something heartbreaking. A large number of people, very poor and desperate, were bowing down to a large golden Buddha. They were stuffing what seemed to be the last of their money into the treasury box and kneeling in prayer, hoping to secure a blessing from the Buddha. On the other side of the large golden idol, scaffolding had been built. The Buddha had begun to deteriorate, and a group of workers was diligently repairing the broken Buddha. I took in the scene. Broken people were bowing down to a broken Buddha asking the broken Buddha to fix their broken lives while someone else fixed the broken Buddha." [J.R. Vassar, Glory Hunger: God, the Gospel, and Our Quest for Something More (Crossway, 2014), pp. 35-36.]
How heartbreaking. How do people expect a broken Buddha to fix their broken lives? The image itself seems to be the saddest expression of the impotence of man to fix himself. But haven't we done the same thing? We look to a mate to fill the emptiness and loneliness inside. We look to others for self-worth, value and hope. We look to others to help justify our sins and appease our guilt. We look to the world of broken men to fix our brokenness.
We are like flawed and broken clay. The Potter has a vision of what the clay can be. He knows how to reshape the clay to match that vision. Broken clay must be put in the hands of the Potter to be made whole and complete. No other hands have the power to do it. When we are broken we must go to the One who made us to be remade and fixed. The broken can never fix the broken.
Are you broken? Is your life falling apart? Have you fallen, come crashing down, and been shattered? It seems like a riddle. Is there an answer? Yes. Put yourself in the hands of the Potter and "...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 1:6).
Prayer: Heavenly Potter, we are the clay and you are the Potter. Mold our brokenness into something new and whole through your love and care. Only you can put us and our lives back together again. We trust in you who is able and no longer look towards the broken to fix our brokenness. In Jesus name, amen.