Wednesday

What Painted Pottery Taught Me about God's Care

“Good luck getting them home,” Emily said as I showed her the painted plates I found in Seville. “Everyone who comes to Spain falls in love with the pottery and tries to take it back in their suitcases. No matter how carefully they wrap it, it always breaks.” 

“What if I put bubble wrap around them?” I asked. 

“Tried it.” 

“Wrap them in clothing?” 

“Tried that, too.” 

“Surely there’s some way I can get these home?” I insisted. 

“The only way they’ll make it intact is if you carry them,” she said. 

So that’s what I did. 

I wrapped them in bubble wrap, tucked each one between several layers of clothing, and hauled them halfway across the world in my carry on suitcase. 

When a TSA agent tried to lift my little suitcase onto the screening belt, I did it myself. When a flight attendant offered to stow it under the plane, I declined. When another volunteered to place it into an overhead bin, I refused. On every plane, I gently tucked my carry on beneath my seat where I knew it would be safe. 

I wheeled my suitcase from Jerez to Madrid, from Madrid to Dallas, from Dallas to Charlotte, and from Charlotte to home. Six thousand, six hundred, and eighteen miles. 


But Emily was right. My pretty painted plates arrived safely. Now they hang in my kitchen as a beautiful reminder of my trip to Spain. 

“Why would you go to all that trouble?” my husband asked when I described what I’d done. “Were they very expensive?” 

“Not really,” I told him, “but I like them. They make me happy. They’re valuable to me, and I think they’re beautiful."

My plates remind me of Spain, but the trouble I went through to get them home reminds me of the way God cares for me. Isaiah 40:11 paints a beautiful word picture to describe how God relates to his children: 

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” 

He carries them in his bosom. Carefully, like objects of great value. Gently, like precious, fragile heirlooms. Lovingly, like a most treasured keepsake. 


When we by faith place our trust in Jesus Christ as Savior, he commits to carry us all the way through our lives. But unlike the checked luggage that I sent on ahead of me under the plane, God doesn’t just promise to get us there. He promises to carry us every step of the way. Because he loves us. And values us. And thinks we’re beautiful.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you,” he promises. “I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4). 

If you’re feeling devalued today, I pray this simple metaphor will help you realize how much God treasures you. May you feel God’s tender arms beneath you, hear the beat of his loving heart, and rest in the comfort and safety of his embrace. You can rest in the confidence that he won’t let you go until you’re safely home.



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4 comments:

  1. Hi Lori, the bit I love is where you say the plates were not particularly expensive, but that they made you happy. I feel that way about stuff. A painting by some unknown person holds more value to me than a well known one, purely because it makes me happy. And the way you have lined that up with how God loves us, and goes to the nnnth degree to show us, no matter how valuable or un-valuable the world sees us, to Him, we are valuable, because we make Him happy when we want to fellowship with Him, and because He just loves us. Great post, I loved it!
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Thank you, Tracy, for your kind words. I agree -- The Bible uses the words, "God DELIGHTS in us so often. It makes the strong case that he not only loves us, but ENJOYS us as well. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Lori. What a wonderful reminder of how precious we are to the Father and how intimately He knows us. This really encouraged me today.

    grace and peace,
    pat(lookingawaytohim.blogspot.com)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to have brought you a smile today, Pat. Blessings to you!

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