Recently, a friend showed me her collection of sea glass. Also known as beach glass, the varied bits of colored glass are sometimes pieces of pottery but often they are pieces of shattered glass bottles. Originally, the glass had a purpose, but then it was casually thrown away and became broken. If the discarded glass ends up in an ocean, its journey is just beginning. As it is relentlessly tossed about by currents and tides, its jagged edges are ground down by the sand and waves and eventually are smoothed away and rounded off. The result is something beautiful. The jewel-like sea glass has found new life and is treasured by collectors and artists.
In a similar way, a broken life can be renewed when it is touched by God's love and grace. In the Old Testament, when the prophet Jeremiah watched a potter working, he noticed that if an object was marred the potter simply reshaped it (Jer. 18:1-6). God explained that in His hands the people of ancient Israel were like clay, which He would shape as He saw best. We are never too badly broken for God to reshape. He loves us in spite of our imperfections and past mistakes, and He desires to make us beautiful. When melted by trial, we can be fully molded by the Potter.