Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”
A local potter invited us to bring our grandkids Emma and Kennedy to her studio to try their hands at making pottery. So, last week we went and while we were there I “heard” a word from the Lord.
The potter had prepared the clay and centered it on the wheel. It never is an exact centering, and so the potter must use both hands and “work the clay” to get it centered and then begin to shape it into whatever is desired. Simple, eh? Not quite. A potter must have strong hands and arms, and even the shoulders and back get a workout.
As Kennedy, who is only four years old, tried to work the clay, it started to get away from him. The potter told him, “Work the clay. Don’t let the clay work you.” That brought to my mind the passage in Jeremiah 18:1-4 where God sends the prophet down to the potter’s house and gives him an object lesson. As Jeremiah watched, “The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” Verse 4 ESV
The word I heard from the Lord that morning was that when I try to work the Potter, instead of letting the Potter work me, things get spoiled. Watching Kennedy struggle to keep the clay centered on the wheel, I thought about how much I often struggle with God to do things my way instead of His. The more I struggle the more off centre and unbalanced my life becomes.
When the clay was spoiled in Kennedy’s hands, the potter simply removed it and centered a new piece of clay on the wheel with the encouragement to try again.
In some extreme cases, the Sovereign Potter is forced to remove the clay entirely. But more often He reworks the clay—us—into another vessel, as seems good to Him to do. It may not be as beautiful as His original intention, but it can still be a vessel fit for the Master’s use. (See 2 Timothy 2:21) That’s the way I see it anyway. What do you think?