Monday, October 6, 2008

the most recyclable material

This morning I was reading in Ezekiel for my morning devotional time. You will notice a reoccurring theme of "clean up" because that is where God has me now. And you know if you have spent any amount of time in the Old Testament
isn't that where Israel was found most often? They were often in the Clean up is a dirty job that I am glad He is willing to do.
In the eleventh chapter God is talking about returning His people to their land. And this is what He says, "They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God".
Now there is a verse that comes right after this about those who refuse to remove those images and detestable idols, but I am not going to going there because I am in the process of allowing Him to recreate in me a clean soft heart.
Reading these verses this morning made me think of this verse.
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. (Isa 64:8)
Not really knowing much about clay I wondered if there was ever a point when clay was beyond use and just needed to be thrown away. So I did a little yahoo search and this is what I found.
Continental Clay Company says,
"Clay until it is fired never goes bad. it is one of the most recyclable materials in nature. With the proper addition of both water and time any clay can be ready to use and reuse".

Now that is a little tidbit of information that I can thank the Lord for.
I will tell you that the process of getting a piece of dry clay back into malleable condition is not one that we should ever want to go through. Are you up for this?
*When the clay is absolutely dry, carefully place the coils into a heavy clay bag (3 mil. or thicker), and break the clay coils into small pieces with a mallet..
But there is hope. The process is not finished here thank heavens.
Next comes the soaking process.
*Now, fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of water. Pour the crushed clay into the water approximately 5 pounds per 15 minutes. Layering in this way will allow the clay chunks to saturate with water before they are submerged under another layer of dry clay pieces. Continue this layering until the bucket is half full of clay..

I guess the idea is that the clay did not become hard over night and it will not return to the malleable state over night. The above process is actually going to take around 4 days of soaking.
So what gets us to this state of stony substance?
What makes your heart hard?
In my case it happened one choice at a time. A choice to do what I thought was best instead of what He thought was best. A decision to watch what I wanted to watch. And read what I wanted to read. A choice to be greedy and self centered instead of allowing Him to give me what I needed when I needed it. Each of these choices allowed my heart to become a little harder.
Then as things became harder I stepped away from time in the word and time in prayer.
Isn't it funny that what you need most you shy away from because of the guilt you feel?
Hmmm, maybe that is why He doesn't want us to give into self in the first place.
I became like a glass of cold water set out in the desert- my spirit all dry and evaporated and eventually marred and etched by the blowing sand.

So now I am in the soaking process-it does not happen over night.
And the temptation will come once you start feeling a little better.... to jump out of the soaking process. That should notify you right away that you are not done yet! The clay never tells the potter when it is ready. That is what got it into trouble in the first place.

So the journey continues.
This is basic stuff. But my heart tells me that if they were willing the whole body of
Christ would be sitting in that soaking bucket.
It is time to get back to the basics.
Never confuse conviction with beating yourself up.......if God has spoken to your heart...respond right away. Otherwise your heart will continue to harden and the process to re moisturise will be that much longer and harder.

And remember the good thing is that.............until the final baking takes place......clay is the most recyclable material found in nature. Aren't you glad He formed us from dust?
There is always room in the bucket for more!
*Minnesota Clay USA


Halfmoon Girl said...

wow, I learned some stuff here today! It makes the whole word picture of clay that much more meaningful. I need to hang out in the process instead of being so ready to tell the Master that I am finished and don't need to be worked on anymore!

luvmy4sons said...

Such an awesome analogy for understanding our hearts...Good stuff! Soaking...soaking in His presence...soaking in the Word...soaking up His Spirit with prayer...So good to know that we are always in the careful care of the Potter.

intouchwith said...

Amen..This is so true, it brought tears to my eyes because I am in the soaking process now, all from disobedience. I need your prayers.

Denise said...

Such an awesome post, bless you sis.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Intouchwith.....I just want you to know that I am praying for you. I have prayed that the mighty presence of God would come over you. That you would feel His presence and love in an incredible way today. That you would be able to discern from God what you need to do to get your feel pointed in the right direction.
You are not alone. I tried to click over to you but can't seem to get there. But know this....this sister is praying for you!

try2bAsunbeam said...

Great post, Sharon!

Denise said...

When there was a particular tough stain in a piece of clothing my sweet grandmother would let it soak in the sink for a while...... She would pour a little of this and thank and scrub and let it soak!

There are so many days that I need to just let HIM soak me........

I love the post......... I am "soaking it in"

SunnySusan said...

Ooooh baby...I am a-soakin....

It is because of my lack of discipline and wanting to do it my way.....

I am a-soakin....and a-learnin from my Master......

Bless you Sharon for being real

Anonymous said...

Running a little late but not too late to at least say Hi. Hopefully, I will have some time to call you tonight. Are you going to be home?