The pastors at my church are in the middle of a series right now called “Love Fearlessly,” and I was struck again last Sunday how “We love, because [God] first loved us” (I John 4:19). If we love because He loved us, and if the greatest commandment is “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” with the second greatest being “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-39), then we’d better start understanding God’s love pretty thoroughly. We need to absolutely marinate ourselves in it, until we can overflow with it into the lives of the people around us. Our love comes from His love. So I’m going back to two of my previous posts about God’s love and going more in depth about each of the aspects of God’s love (not necessarily exhaustive) that I found in Scripture. I’m starting this week with God’s love for us as an artist.
God loves us as an artist loves his artwork. In Isaiah 64:8, God is compared to a potter: “But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” I love the image of God as a potter. Out of many types of artistry, pottery is one in which the artist must literally get his hands dirty in the act of creation. He uses tools while making the pot, but often no tool at all comes between the artist and the art. A potter often uses both hands, shaping and molding the pliant clay into whatever shape he chooses. While he shapes the object, he must be intent and focused on it or it will turn out misshapen and warped, especially if the potter uses a wheel. From my research, I found that during the time that Isaiah was written, potters were indeed using a fast wheel that spun on an axle like a top.
One aspect of our relationship with God is compared to this. This is a very intimate picture of the way God shapes us and molds us to become the people He wants us to be. It shows a God very interested in who we are and how we’re turning out. It shows a God very involved in the process of our formation, putting both of His hands into it. He’s willing, as He showed through Jesus, to get dirty (remember, we are made of dust) in order to bring restoration into our lives.
I do not consider myself an artist. Some people who have attended some of the birthday parties I have thrown for my kids have mistakenly thought that I must be creative. I know God has given me a level of creativity, but it is not my strongest suit. I do, however, really enjoy research and mimicry. Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to party planning. Therefore, I know little of true creation and the love an artist can have for that creation. However, I have created a few things, even as spin-offs from something else I’ve seen, and I understand the feeling of those being a part of myself.
If you have an older child who loves to build with Legos and a younger child who enjoys taking Legos apart, you may have seen the anguish that can come when the older child walks into his room and discovers his beloved Lego spaceship thoroughly dismantled. I understand when my children have a hard time taking apart Lego buildings they have constructed themselves. Although it is a low form of love, there is an attachment that comes from the process. With God, there is more than that, as a part of Him is really in us–we were created in His image (Gen. 1:27).
This is just the beginning, just a glimpse of God’s love for you, His creation. In the coming weeks, I will go more into other, much deeper images of His love for us. I hope these will remind you or bring you into a better understanding of how much God loves you.
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