The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Jeremiah was watching a potter at work. Whenever a piece of pottery turned out imperfectly, he would take the clay and make it into something else. [Jeremiah 18: 4]
The 17th-century painter Rembrandt is one of the world’s greatest artists. After his wife died he entered a period of depression and painted poorly. Eventually he bounced back from it. When he did, Rembrandt painted with new power, passion, and purpose. Some critics think his wife’s death marked a turning point in his career. It raised him to a new artistic level. The story of Rembrandt illustrates how God can use tragedy to fashion us into something better than we originally were. How convinced am I that God can take my weakness and sinfulness and, with God’s grace, fashion it into something incredibly beautiful?
When God closes a door, he opens a window for those who have the wit to discover it. [Gerald H. Bath]
Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com
Lord, nothing is for naught before your eyes. Should great difficulty come upon us, we believe that blessings will eventually come from the apparent ruins of our lives. When we look back on the hardships of life, we marvel how unexpected good has come from such apparent setbacks and disappointments. Lord, remove any heaviness of heart that might weigh upon us today and deepen within us the assurance that ultimately all will be well because you are God.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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