One of the things I would love to have an opportunity to do is pottery. It looks like such a wonderful thing to take a lump of unshaped clay, work with it, and mould it into a beautiful vessel. I did some reading about the process involved in making a beautiful clay pot, as I am very aware of the fact that it looks much easier than one would anticipate. This is what I learnt.
Before a potter starts with his vessel, he needs to decide what kind of clay is needed. Some kinds of clay are easier to work with and mould than others, and the type of clay the potter chooses will determine the temperature needed to bake and harden the vessel. He also needs to decide the purpose and shape of the vessel he will be making. In order to get the desired results, the potter will knead and press and roll the clay, spin it around and shape it carefully on the potter’s wheel, and cut off any excess bits that would spoil a perfectly crafted vessel.
After shaping the clay vessel, he will need to bake it in a special oven. A potter wouldn’t dream of sparing his vessel from the very hot kiln or oven, because he knows that the only way his vessel can truly be useful, is by ensuring that it is hardened and reinforced by the intense heat. A soft, unbaked pot will not be able to retain its contents, as it will lose its shape and leak. The potter also knows just how long and intense the firing process would need to be for that particular vessel to reach the maturing stage.
In Isaiah 64:8 (NKJV) God is described as a potter: ‘But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.’ When God, my ‘Potter’, made me, He knew exactly what was required in order to form me in accordance with His perfect plan for my life. He knew how much to press and knead, spin around and trim away to shape me for my particular purpose. Moreover, He knew how much ‘heat’ to apply to harden me and refine my character for His glory. James 1:2-4 says, ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.`
Before He went to the cross Jesus told His disciples that He would not leave them as orphans, but that He would send them a Helper Who would abide with them forever – His Spirit of Truth. (John 14:16-18). The Holy Spirit is our ‘Comforter, Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby’ (John 16:7). He is the One who strengthens and reinforces us with mighty power in our inner man ‘by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your (our) innermost being and personality’ (Ephesians 3:16).
Whenever we are faced with the fiery trials of life, and while God is busy pressing and shaping and moulding us for the purposes He has intended for each of us, His Holy Spirit sustains us and keeps us, and if we choose to surrender to the Potter, He will work within us that which brings glory to Him while He brings beauty within and through us.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord that You are my Father and the Potter who is busy forming and moulding me for Your glory. Lord I surrender to Your loving hands, and I choose to trust You in the midst of the fiery trials of life. Thank You, Holy Spirit, that You strengthen me by Your constant indwelling presence and power. Amen.
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