Crossroads: God Makes Beautiful Things

Jeremiah 18:1-11

Your Story

Talk about a time in your life when you made a wrong decision and God made something good out of it, or when a tragedy happened and God made something good out of it.

My Story and the Bible Story

I’m very clumsy. And sometimes I break things. There have been times when I have broken dishes as I washed them, and there have been times when I have broken things by knocking them over. Usually, when I break something, I have to throw it away. It’s broken so it’s no good. And it doesn’t seem very fixable. So I throw it out. But the Japanese have another solution. When something is broken, they use a precious metal, like gold or silver, to fix broken pottery. It is an art called kintsugi, and it takes something broken and turns it into something beautiful. The ceramic bowl or vase or plate has “scars” where you can see gold or silver, but it is something beautiful. Kintsugi is celebrated. They take something broken and make it beautiful again (you can find more about this here).

God does the same thing in our lives. We all make mistakes. We all do things that are wrong sometimes. Sometimes we really mess up and it seems like God should just throw us away. But God doesn’t. God takes us and makes something beautiful again. Read Jeremiah 18:1-11. From the NIV:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” “Now, therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’”

The Israelites made a lot of mistakes. They were constantly turning away from God, and they even ended up wandering around the desert for 40 years. But, when they turned back to God, when they followed God, God used them to do great things. It didn’t matter that they had made mistakes. They were God’s people and God could use them. God uses all of us. None of us is perfect, and we all make mistakes. But God can take the things we do wrong and turn them into something beautiful. No matter what you do, God loves you. Always. And God can always work in your life. Our lives are like clay and God is the potter. Even if the vase falls apart on the potter’s wheel, God can reshape it into something else. God uses each and every one of us, and he can make something beautiful out of something broken.

What about when tragedy and disasters happen? What about when hurricanes and tornados destroy? God can make something beautiful out of that too. When bad things happen, God sends others to help us. God send others to help us rebuild and to remind us that we are never alone. God helps us no matter what. And God can take mistakes and tragedies and bring something good out of them.

Discussion and Prayer

  • If your kids are artistic, ask them about things they have made. Were they trying to make something and it just didn’t work? What did they turn it into?
  • Remind your children that God used people in the Bible who made a lot of mistakes: Paul was killing Christians before he became one. Moses killed an Egyptian. Abraham kept telling everyone that his wife was his sister because he was afraid. Talk to them about how God used each of them.
  • Talk about how God uses us in big and small ways (to help someone else, to teach others about Jesus, etc.).

Pray, asking God to make something good out of a bad situation, and asking for help to remember that God can always use us.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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