For the first time in my life I went to men’s event on making pottery. Yes, you read it right, pottery. To be honest, I like the outings when you hike, listen to a good speaker, or my favorite a South African braai-US barbeque, where you eat lots of meat. But I went and somewhat hesitantly, mainly to support some friends who had planned and put it together.
And….I walked away that afternoon with tons of spiritual truths imprinted in my mind. I can now understand why God told Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house, watch him spin the wheel, and work wonders with a lifeless lump of clay. God wanted the people of Israel to get a visual of who He is and what He is doing in their lives. (Jeremiah 18).
Here are some timely truths that the Spirit taught me watching the potter:
1. I’m so glad I’m not the Potter – Our pottery experts made it look so easy as they shaped the clay into different vessels. However, when they let some of the men give it a spin the clay was flying all over the place and seemed impossible to control.
I think how often I want to take over the potter’s wheel and show God how to shape me. That always turns out messy and teaches me to trust His perfect, powerful, Sovereign hands to shape my life for His glory not mine
2.The Impurities must be Removed – We learned that the clay is taken out of riverbeds and as a result small rocks and grass or impurities needed to be removed. Also adding just the right amount of water is important as well as smoothing away water bubbles. This appeared especially challenging to the inexperienced potter.
I need to allow the Potter’s Hand to do a cleaning work in my heart. The Spirit and Word reveal my sins and I need to allow His hand to remove those sins and idols in my life through confession and repentance.
3. It is According to His design – It was amazing to watch the prepared clay in the hands of a true creative potter. His mind told his hands how to create the desired piece and one little touch of a finger would mold the clay into an amazing design.
The Father is molding each of us into the image of His own Son Jesus. And each of us is designed in such a unique and special way that we reflect some aspect of Jesus in our lives. God’s shaping of me will be different from you and we need to rejoice in how our Father’s hand had molded us for a specific purpose to given to us (Psalm 139).
4. Strengthened in the Fire – The pottery teachers taught us that when the unique piece of pottery is created it is then placed into the kiln to dry it out and to turn it from clay to ceramic. The hotter the fire the stronger the ceramic.
The ouch part! If we don’t go through the fire of adversity and testing we will remain weak and will easily crumble. The Father uses trials, testing, difficult seasons to strengthen our faith and so that we trust in His love alone. Without the spiritual fire we will not experience the spiritual joy of being formed more and more into the image of Christ His Son.
We are living in a season where the Father is doing a molding work in our lives. May we have the courage to stay on the wheel and allow His Sovereign hands to form us as believers into a people reflecting the glorious image of His Son Jesus and confess with Isaiah the prophet:
“Yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure O LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people.” (64:8-9)