“Can I break it now?”
Mom and I shared a big-eyed look as Chase excitedly tested the cumbersome weight of Trev’s hammer in his small hands.
We were smashing my small ceramic turtle pot in order to free the dirt and plant inside for repotting. Cole was busy climbing the oak tree in our backyard and his brother eagerly offered his services for pot-smashing. We were also making our Easter garden and repotting a couple other plants, and bags of potting soil and shiny new pots dotted the grass around our feet.
After making sure his safety protection goggles were secure, we backed up and he squatted down to tap-tap-tap away. I experienced a moment of nostalgia for the little turtle container. I bought it when we lived in Cape Coral nearly four years ago and it had graced the plant shelf by both houses’ front doors since. But the spindly, unusual cactus had outgrown the small container and we were giving a good chunk of it to Trev’s green-thumbed dad for his birthday present.
Two hits later the ceramic turtle lay in a few fractured pieces and Chase wore a huge grin. We shared a giggle as mom pulled the dirt apart from the broken pot pieces, revealing a semi-dry mound of turtle-shaped dirt.
Months and months of the plant and its dirt pressed snuggly inside the ceramic turtle molded the soil into the shape of a small amphibian. After a few hammer taps, some cracking, and a couple gentle tugs, the plant was placed into a bigger pot that would allow more room for growth. Mom carefully pulled a piece of the cactus apart from the rest to be potted in a separate container.
I’m a sensitive soul, and I cringed for the plant as we separated and repotted it, pouring in fresh soil and pressing down to make sure the roots were deep enough then damp enough. For a little while it was a precarious mess strewn about under our oak tree, but it’s thriving in its new pot.
Later I couldn’t help thinking about the solid, stubborn, turtle-shaped dirt and how it was now a beautiful new creation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
I was struck by the similarity to the Christian life. We shy away from that painful breaking and reshaping process, the cracking and chipping of our old self in order to be shaped more like our Savior. Just as with the broken ceramic turtle, the mold around our lives may fracture into pieces. It’s messy, sometimes frightening, and often takes a long time to break away from the pieces we’ve held to for so long.
But when we’re saved by faith in Jesus Christ, God’s word assures us that greater power is at work and His purposes are for His glory and our good. “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them” Isaiah 42:9.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'”
~ Isaiah 55: 8-9
Oswald Chambers said, “Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience.”
Our Creator is in control, with plans we can’t comprehend or imagine, and our confidence should be “that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6) Hold fast to God’s word and allow yourself to be molded by His capable hands.