Raku

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation. —Romans 12:12

Some friends gave us a piece of Raku pottery. “Each pot is hand-formed,” the tag explained, “a process that allows the spirit of the artist to speak through the finished work with particular directness and intimacy.”

Once the clay has been shaped by the potter it is fired in a kiln. Then, glowing red hot, it is thrust into a smoldering sawdust pile where it remains until finished. The result is a unique product—”one of a kind,” the tag on our piece insists.

So it is with us. We bear the imprint of the Potter’s hand. He too has spoken through His work “with particular directness and intimacy.” Each of us is formed in a unique way for a unique work: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

But though we are created for good works, we’re not yet finished. We must experience the kiln of affliction. Aching hearts, weary spirits, aging bodies are the processes God uses to finish the work He has begun.

Don’t fear the furnace that surrounds you. Be “patient in tribulation” and await the finished product. “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4).

David H. Roper

We are here to be perfected,
Only God our needs can see;
  Rarest gems bear hardest grinding,
  God’s own workmanship are we.

Anon.

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. —Philippians 1:6

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