I recently read an interesting fact about the art of pottery. When a potter is preparing to shape a new vessel from a lump of clay, he needs to ensure that the clay is placed exactly in the middle of the potter’s wheel. Once he starts shaping that pot and the wheel is spinning, the clay will respond to where it’s been placed on the wheel to start with. If the clay is off centre, the centrifugal force will sling it against the wall, or its shape will be marred by the fact that its balance is out. This illustration drives home the importance of where we position ourselves in our relationship with God, and how we respond to His shaping process in our lives.
The Word speaks of the fact that God’s the Potter and we’re the clay (Isaiah 64:8). A piece of clay doesn’t reason with the potter regarding what he’s planning. Isaiah 45:9 says, ‘Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, “What do you think you are making?”’ So often we question God about the way He created us to be. We’re unhappy with the image we see in the mirror, or dissatisfied with our abilities or lack thereof. We question God’s goodness and His plans for our lives when we see the flaws and struggles within us. All the while we forget that the great Potter is the One Who designed us and intricately wove us together in our mother’s womb. He shaped us and placed within us all that would be needed for us to bring glory to Him through our lives. ‘His divine
power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness’ (2 Peter 1:3).
Back to the lump of clay: In spite of the fact that God is the Potter and we’re the clay, He’s given us a free will. Like any good potter, God places and centres us on His potter’s wheel in order to make us into something He can use and display for His glory. We can CHOOSE to obey Him or not, we can CHOOSE to submit our lives to the Potter, or to rebel against His hands. He may be pressing and shaping and moulding us, and He may even be placing us inside a fiery furnace to strengthen our frame, just as a potter would bake his vessel to harden it. We’re even able to choose what kind of vessel we want to be: ‘But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honour and some for dishonour. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work’ (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
If you want to be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful to the great Potter, then trust His hands as He shapes and presses and moulds you. Stay centred on the potter’s wheel. Submit to the fiery furnace He may be placing you into to strengthen and refine you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I desire to be a vessel for honourable use to You. Help me to remain centred on Your Potter’s wheel and to submit to Your hands that mould and shape my life, even when it’s uncomfortable and doesn’t make sense from my perspective. I trust You. Amen.