“‘Let My true messengers faithfully proclaim My every word. There is a difference between straw and grain! Does not My word burn like fire?’ says the LORD. ‘Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?'” Jeremiah 23:28-29
I have an insatiable hunger to record perfect moments forever in ink. The curl of steam from a mug of coffee on a quiet crisp fall morning, the laugh of an infant playing innocently on the floor unaware of the turmoil of a parent’s concerned heart, the relief of a gentle wind in the heat of a summer day, the way the stillness of the falling snow can calm my soul… all moments that make my hunger to write grumble until I press the record button of my heart and inscribed them in ink – for no real reason other than to celebrate what God has made. No one will see those scraps of paper; I myself haven’t seen them in years probably tossed out with the old bills long ago. And yet, there they are, still inscribed on my heart in indelible ink.
Then there are other moments in my life that are not the most pleasant of memories, those too are inscribed on my heart. I’m not sure what kind of ink was used to write those down, but I know that it’s the kind of ink that hurts like the dickens when it’s first carved in and the longer it sits untouched by Holy Hands, the more it hurts and festers and infects. That ink has a tendency to spread and blur lines that weren’t meant to be crossed until it absorbs into the heart and goes places it’s not been invited into. It’s a dark ink that covers much of the color and joy that the first ink leaves. But there’s something about this ink that I do love, its reaction to Light. You see in the darkness of sorrow and pain this ink spreads and darkens once colorful inks. But in the presence of Light it dissipates like the fog in the morning sun. Not all at once, but in varying degrees and more rapidly with more exposure. After enough time in the Light this ink changes, the original outline of the painful memory still remains, but it’s… different, in the Light of the Word. It’s not nearly as painful as it once was, at least not in the same way that it was. The Light shows that ink for what it really is, the work of a Brilliant Master who works in ALL the colors, even the dark ones. He uses shadow AND light to create the most amazing masterpieces you’ve ever seen. And the beauty of the masterpiece is that you get to come face-to-face with it each and every time you glimpse yourself in a mirror.
There is NO ONE on this planet whose heart has been pierced in exactly the same way that yours has been. There is no one whose shoes have been sodden and muddied the way yours have been. But there is One who has been right there with you each and every single step of that painful journey. His name is Jesus. He was right there with you when your heart received that sword filled with venomous ink. He was right there with you when your foot sank into the mire of muck and grime. Why didn’t He keep that sword from inflicting its pain or that pit from sucking at your feet? I don’t propose to know all the answers, but I do know this, He can be trusted. My dearest friend, I don’t know why it was important for you to go through what you’ve been through but I can guarantee that what you’ve been through – the good and the bad – it has shaped you and made you who you are today. In Jeremiah’s story he describes a time when God takes him to a potter’s shop and has him watch the potter molding the clay to form a vessel. God explains to Jeremiah that He is like that potter and we are like that clay. While the clay has no real say over what kind of vessel it will become, there are two things that are certain: 1) it will become a vessel that is useful to the purchaser and 2) it is worth the price that was paid to purchase it. My Dear One, YOU are that vessel. You were and are still being created in the Master Potter’s hands and while that formation process (at times) involves sharp instruments that dig at your flesh and cause you to wince and cry out in pain that doesn’t mean that you aren’t still in the Master’s hands. It doesn’t mean that at any point you’ve become a useless vessel or that you aren’t’ still worth the price that Jesus paid to purchase you. Your life has tremendous meaning and importance. Don’t forget that. Don’t ever lose sight of that. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, it’s important to the Kingdom of God because it’s important to the King, God. YOU are important to the King. More important than a mere wordsmith like myself could ever import with mere words and ink. Though I will continue to do my best to try because like Jeremiah says in chapter twenty verse nine of his book, “His Word burns in my heart like a fire; like a fire in my bones! And it wears me out trying to hold them in.” So I stopped trying long ago and I let them fall out of my fingertips daily from this platform where I beg Him to use me to help you fully receive His love for YOU today. He has, is and will always speak His Words of Love in wonderful ways to us if we simply open our ears to hear them and our eyes to see them every day.