The walls of Jerusalem were broken down and Jerusalem lay waste, but Nehemiah decided to rebuild the walls and gates. What I love about this passage of scripture is that Nehemiah just didn’t use new timber to make beams for the gates and walls, but he chose to use parts of the rubble to build the gates and walls. Rubble is broken fragments resulting from destruction. It is those parts that are unlovely, but God is able to use all of your broken fragments – the hurts, disappointments, rejection, and failures – to build a testimony in you for Him.
There is much rubbish so that we are not able to build the wall (Nehemiah 4:10). The people could only see its ruins, but Nehemiah saw its value (Nehemiah 4:10). To them, it seemed hopeless and impossible, but to him, nothing was useless and nothing was wasted. Their enemy (Sanballat) even asked if it was possible for them to bring stones back to life. You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (I Peter 2:5). God can use what happened in your past to bring others into their future. There is nothing that has happened to you that is beyond repair. There is hope for you. God is able to restore the stones from the heaps of dust and rubbish – even the ones that have been burned (Nehemiah 4:2). You may think you’re too messed up, you’re not good enough and that no one will ever want you, but God wants you and He wants to use you. You are like the lost coin that was found. After it was found, it may have been dirty, but it never lost its value. It was still a coin and to the owner, it was worth searching for. What you went through didn’t make you useless. Instead, it made you useful to God. The enemy desired to kill you and cause the work to cease (Nehemiah 4:11), but God will complete the good work He began in you. God didn’t let you die in it, but He let you live through it so you can declare HIS works.
You are like the publicans and sinners that came to sit with Jesus, to eat with Him and to hear Him (Matthew 9:10-11; Luke 15:1-2). The Pharisees didn’t want anything to do with them, but Jesus received those that they rejected. He loved them and was very patient with them. In Jeremiah 18, the potter was very patient with the vessel. Even though the vessel wasn’t what it should have been or where it needed to be to fulfill its purpose, he didn’t give up on it because he knew one day that it would please Him. He didn’t throw it away nor did he reject it. He worked with it until it became what he wanted it to be. The Lord sees something in you that others don’t see. You are His earthen vessels and there is treasure inside of you.
The scriptures tell us that while in the hand of the potter, the vessel was marred. The word, marred, means injured, hurt, wounded or broken. The clay could have blamed the potter for its condition, but it wasn’t the potter’s fault. Sometimes we blame God for things that have happened to us, but nothing was wrong with the Maker. Something was wrong with what was being made. There were still some things that needed to be worked out of the vessel. It still needed to go through some pressing and pulling. God can and will use every detail of your life for HIS good, but to become what the Potter wants you to be, you have to obey Him. The vessel didn’t resist the molding and shaping. It wasn’t stubborn or set in its ways. It wanted change. It submitted all of itself to the hands of the potter. It wanted to be a vessel that could be used for the potter’s purpose. To be everything that God says you can be, you must do everything He tells you to do. It will require you to do something different – something you have never done before. Even when you don’t understand how water can change to wine, fill the waterpots with water anyway. Do whatever He tells you to do because what God does next depends on what you do now.
Being marred hasn’t counted us out. God is longsuffering (patient) to us. He doesn’t want any of us to perish, but He wants all of us to come to repentance. So let us repent of our wicked ways, our stubborn ways and our selfish ways. God can make those who others have labeled as unfit, fit for His use. He is able to make those crooked places in us straight, but we must submit like the clay on the wheel. Let God do with you what the potter did with the clay. You’re not getting off the wheel until what He made seems good to Him.
Prayer: Father, we repent of our sins. Holy Spirit, help us to humble ourselves and to do those things that please the Father. Help us to submit to God in the areas where we have been resisting Him. I break the spirit of pride in the name of Jesus. I command every stubborn spirit and every stubborn mountain to be removed and cast into the sea. Thank You that all things are still working together for good. Thank You that no matter how bad or ugly things have seemed in the past, You are going to use every experience and make it beautiful in Your time. Nothing will be wasted. Amen.