“So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And 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. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:3-6
The Bible paints many beautiful word pictures, presenting wisdom and instructions for life through objects and cultural examples people can relate to.
The example of mankind being a lump of clay and God being the Potter is used several times. When a ball of clay is put into the hands of a potter, its current condition is of one in need. It is lacking shape and usefulness. It has impurities in it that need worked out. It has much potential but needs the touch of the potter to make it all it can be.
Surrendering ourselves into the hands of God puts us in a place where we can be molded and shaped by the One who loves us most.
Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
To enter a place of surrender with God is to put ourselves in a place of trust. Surrendering is a place of no resistance. No fighting for our own ways, no objections to what we are instructed to do, no defiance in our actions or attitudes. Even when we think we know a better way. Even when it makes no sense. Even when we don’t want to.
God never told us surrender would be easy. However, His Word has let us know that His ways are higher than our own in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
That is why we trust, even when we don’t understand. As He continually shapes and molds us, we become individual masterpieces of the Master Potter who does all things well. As He sets out His carving tools, He may shave off an imperfection in one area, while using His hand to gently work an impurity out of another section. He knows when each area of His masterpiece is formed exactly as it pleases Him. The Master Potter has been working on the lives of human beings for thousands of years. He knows the touches we need better than we know ourselves. We can trust Him.
Can you see yourself as a lump of clay on the Potter’s wheel? It may not always be easy, nor will it always be pleasant. Even so, it is the safest and greatest place any child of God can be. His constant shaping of all of us that He loves will allow us to look back to our previous condition and see our desperate need to be in the hands of the Potter. Desperation will turn to gratitude when we allow the Potter to do His perfect work in each of us.
Child of God, stay on the Potter’s wheel.