The next time you admire a piece of fine pottery, remember its beauty did not come without pain. An artisan had to take a lump of clay and pound it back and forth in his hands. He rubbed the lump into a round ball and then hit it with all his force until the lump was ready to go on the potter’s wheel.

As the lump of clay spun on the wheel, the potter periodically had to smash it back into a ball because of its defects. Each time he began afresh, until finally after much pounding, prodding, stretching, and molding, he had created a work of art. The lump of clay had become a vessel worthy of setting on the finest of tables and serving the highest of royalty.

God does the same with our lives. Before He can make beautiful vessels worthy of His use, He must break and pound us to remove our defects and blemishes. He knows these faults will hinder our service in the future unless they are repaired. The pounding hurts, but the pain fades in comparison to the greater service potential which it produces. We need only to be pliable like the clay and allow God to mold us as He sees fit.

Beautiful pottery and beautiful Christians must all endure great pain. But the end result always justifies the means. Are you enduring a great hardship at this time? It never feels good when we are broken and reduced to nothing. In your brokenness, remember God is able to remake you into another vessel, even more beautiful than the first edition.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.