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The Potter and the Clay

showcaseDo you feel like your life is spinning out of control? Think back to when you were a kid and you went to the playground. You and your friends were on the merry-go-round and someone yelled “faster,” and soon it was spinning faster and faster and the centrifugal force was trying to throw you off, but you hung on to the handles tightly. Everything around you became blurry and anything in your pockets had been dislodged and landed somewhere on the ground. When the merry-go-round finally came to a stop you were dizzy, disoriented, and maybe even a little sick in your stomach. But soon you were probably back on the merry-go-round again yelling “go faster!” Today, do you feel like you are spinning faster and faster, and parts are beginning to fly off as things spin faster and faster? At times you feel like you have lost control and you just hope when things stop spinning that you are not dizzy, disoriented and sick in your stomach.

Now contrast that to a potter using a pottery wheel to make something beautiful out of clay, with the end product called a ceramic vessel. The potter takes a glob of clay, puts it on the wheel, uses his or her foot to spin the wheel, forms the clay with their hands, and eventually, a masterpiece is made. During the forming process the wheel is always spinning, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, but it is always spinning. And more importantly, the potter’s hands never leave the clay. If the potter were to ever remove his hands, the clay would fly right off the wheel and be ruined. If the finished vessel does not meet the specifications of the potter, the potter presses the clay back into a lump and starts over again until the vessel turns out to his liking.

The Bible tells us that God is the potter and we are the clay. In Isaiah 64:8 we read – Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all work in your hand (NIV).

We see a similar message in Jeremiah 18:1-4 – This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him (NIV).

So the message to us today is twofold. First, we must remain soft and pliable like clay so God can form us and reform us, and second, we can have confidence that God, our Master Potter, always has His hands on us, forming and reforming us. Whether your life is spinning slowly or seemingly out of control, trust that God is spinning the pottery wheel continually forming and reforming you.

Dave Garrett


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