He Made It Again
by F.B. Meyer
God’s servant had been down to the potter’s house. In describing the potter’s work, he says, “He made it again” (Jeremiah 18:4). What did he make again?
Jeremiah was a disappointed man. He thought that there was nothing more that he could do to stay the people from destruction. His heart was breaking. At that point God told him to go down to the potter’s house, and there he saw the potter take a piece of clay and place it on a wheel. As he stood there to watch, the potter shaped it; it rose beneath his hand into a fair and lovely shape. But just as it was complete, and it seemed as though nothing more was needed, it crumbled beneath his hand. Some part of it fell upon the wheel, some part upon the ground.
The prophet thought that the potter would take another piece of clay and make that new clay fulfill his plan. Instead, he stooped and gathered the broken clay with his hand. Picking it up from the ground and kneading it with his hand, he placed it once more upon the wheel and began to form the clay again. Presently a vessel as fair as possible stood complete, ready to be taken to the kiln to be baked and made permanent.
Far back in your life God took you and placed you upon the wheel, and for these many years God has sought to make you fair. But I know not why, I cannot tell – God knows – you know – there has come a flaw, and a break, and you are a piece of broken pottery. Your life is a marred life, your ideal a broken ideal, and all around there lie the pieces of the man or woman you might have been.
Why have you failed? Because your life is a failure. You hide it by going to church, by observing the outward routine, by a hearty laugh, by a light, happy air. You live your life amongst your brethren or sisters, but no one knows that deep down in your soul you are certain that you are a failure, that you are spoiled, that you want things you do not obtain, that you long for a goodness you never realize, that you reach out for a sweetness and a purity and a strength that never come. You know that your life has fallen beneath God’s plan. You are ready to confess it. Why is it so? Is it because God has failed? No, He wants His best for each one of us.
Many years ago, I was a minister in a Midland town in England, not at all happy, doing my work for the pay I got, but holding a good position amongst my fellows. Hudson Taylor and two young students came into my life. I watched them. They had something I had not. Those young men stood there in all their strength and joy. I said to Charles Studd (one of the two students), “What is the difference between you and me? You seem so happy, and I somehow seem to be in the trough of the wave.”
“There is nothing that I have which you may not have, Mr. Meyer.”
“How am I to get it?”
“Have you given yourself right up to God?”
I winced. I knew that if it came to that, there was a point where I had been fighting my deepest convictions for months. I had lived away from it, but when I came to the Lord’s table, then it met me; or when I came to a convention or meeting of holy people, something stopped me as I remembered this. It was the point where my will was entrenched.
I thought I would do something with Christ that night which would settle it one way or the other, and I met Christ. You will forgive a man who owes everything to one night in his life if to help other men he opens his heart for a moment. I knelt in my room and gave Christ the ring of my will with the keys on it, but kept one little key back, the key of a closet in one back story in my heart. He said to me, “Are they all there?”
“All but one.”
“What is that?”
“It is the key of a little cupboard, in which I have something which Thou needest not interfere with, but it is mine.”
Then, as He put the keys back into my hand, and seemed to be gliding to the door, He said, “My child, if you cannot trust Me with all, you do not trust Me at all.”
I cried, “Stop,” and He seemed to come back. Holding the little key in my hand, in thought I said, “I cannot give it, but if Thou wilt take it Thou shalt have it.”
He took it, and within a month from that time He had cleared out that little cupboard of things which had been there for months. I knew He would.
May I add one more word? Three years ago I met the thing I gave up that night, and as I met it I could not imagine myself being such a fool as nearly to have sold my birthright for that mess of pottage. But that night I looked up into the face of Christ and said, “Now I am Thine.”
It seemed as if that was the beginning of a new ministry. The Lord got me on His wheel again, and He made me again, and He has been making me again ever since. I learned that night to say “Yes,” and I have tried to say “Yes” ever since.