When I was in college, I took a couple of semesters of pottery. I loved to work at the wheel. If you have ever done that, you may like thinking of God as the Master Potter.
Have you ever really thought about the process of making clay into a useful vessel?
Pottery was one of my favorite classes. Although my pots were always rather thick, working with the clay came easier for me than for some.
Have you ever watched a potter? Have you ever considered the relationship of the potter to the clay?
When I would start a pot, I would cut off a piece of clay that was usually rather square. I would throw it against the wheel on the corners to knock it into shape. I needed it to be fairly round. Then I would place it into the center of the wheel and put pressure against it with the heel of my hand to finish rounding it out. From there I would start to shape it. Sometimes I would use a tool to help pull the clay upwards and into shape.
Sometimes the potter will wreck a pot at this point. I have watched as the pot I was working on collapsed inward or warped. This happens a lot with new potters. It requires skill to throw a pot.
After the pot is shaped, it is dried and then put into the kiln. The heating causes the pot to become strong. If not done correctly, the firing process can shatter a pot. This is more likely to happen if the pot is thick or not bone dry.
The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Have you ever considered what God is trying to do with you? How is he trying to shape you? Are you cooperating?
Have you ever tried to fix another person? You are not the Master Potter. What happens if the vessel becomes marred in your hand? How do you know when you apply pressure to the vessel to conform what it will conform into? Will it break under your pressure?
When the Master Potter shapes you, He lovingly shapes you with His hand. When He applies a tool to shape you, His hand is holding that tool. When you are placed in fiery trials, He knows how much fire it takes to make you stronger.
When the Master Potter shapes you, He is shaping you into a vessel for His use.