Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 55: The Biggest Liar

Photo by Alex Bruda, via

Jeremiah 17:5-6

New Living Translation (NLT)

Wisdom from the Lord

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
    who rely on human strength
    and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
    with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salty land.


Do you know what the most often repeated piece of terrible advice is? "Follow your heart!" That is by far the worst thing you could ever do. Why would anyone think it's a good idea to let their emotions be their guide when they keep getting hurt? Maybe it's just a human condition that we like to live on a roller-coaster. We tend to want what we want because it makes us feel good.

Or does it?

What happens when we fall in love? We put all our trust in the other person. We experience this high of infatuation that we think will last forever. That person becomes the center of our entire world. Our life revolves around pleasing our newest love. We anticipate that person meeting our needs, protecting our hearts, and encouraging us in personal growth.

But what inevitably happens is that our new love is incapable of meeting all our needs. We have put them on a pedestal, expecting them to fill the role that only God should have in our lives. As time drags on, and we grow as individuals, we often grow in separate directions. Our lover may forget to express enthusiasm; Or worse, may resent how we've changed. In the end, and there is always an end when we put our faith in another person, we're going to end up an emotional basket case. When we finally pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, we realize how much time we've wasted.  Maybe we want to forget and move on. But we aren't going to forget. Our experience may have crumpled us, but it's still a part of us, and we have to rebuild our life. But how?

By letting God reshape us.
The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,  “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.”  So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.  
Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. (Jeremiah 18:1-6 NLT)

Have you ever watched a potter at work? It's really beautiful, and fascinating. He starts with a lump of clay. Maybe it's a new piece, maybe it's a piece that has been used and discarded and is now being reworked. Either way, it's a bit of a rough start. The clay, which has already been pressed and squished and flattened and finally shaped into a wedge, gets thrown down onto a wheel. Then a little water is poured on it (we've all experienced rain in our lives) and the potter smashes the cone shaped wedge flat. Then he pours more water on, and surrounds it with his hands, pushing and pulling as the wheel spins, to center the clay. The centering isn't always easy, but it's critical to the process, because otherwise, the clay would wobble so much during shaping that it would never become what it could be.

Once the rough stuff is over, the potter then uses the most delicate of touch to guide the shape of the vessel that is forming. It is such a beautiful and artistic process that it doesn't even appear that there is any undue pressure involved! No force! The clay seems to grow almost entirely on its own from a lump of mud into a vase, or bowl, or pitcher. But it's not doing it alone. Without the gentle touch, an almost imperceptible pressure from a palm or fingertip, the mud would just sit their spinning in circles, never becoming anything.

This is how it is with us. If we stay on the spinning wheel of life without allowing God to shape our lives, we're never going to become the beautiful creation that He desires us to be! Our only hope is to learn to trust God to provide for us, encourage us, and protect us, instead of the lover who will inevitably let us down and break our heart.

But where's the high in that, right? It feels so good to fall in love. What's so wrong with depending on someone else for our happiness?

What's wrong with it is that it's all a lie. We can't trust our heart to do what is best for us because it can only see what it wants to see. God, on the other hand, can see the mud-pie that you were, the malformed, misshapen dirty mess that you are, and know exactly how to fix it. Only He can see what a gorgeous piece of work you can become. And only He can match us with the perfect companion to enhance our existence. Our emotions can't do that. Our heart will always lead us astray, because it has blinders on. 

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?
But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.” (Jer 17:9-10)

I don't usually embed videos into my blog, but I know my words didn't do justice to the description of a potter forming his clay. You really have to see it to appreciate how gentle the process is. So humor me. Watch the video.


  1. I don't think of another person when I read these scriptures I think of myself and how I count on me ...although it is true what you said I find my biggest problem is trusting in "me" and not looking to God ... but praise God is is surely working in us to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure and not ours...\o/

    Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

  2. hey, you're a person too! i hadn't thought of that when i was writing. i did kinda think it would be nice to broaden it a little to include other examples of how our heart can deceive us (even examples that don't include other people at all) but i guess this is what God was leading me to write about. 'love' is a universal thing that nearly everyone can relate to, even if it doesn't apply at the moment.