“But now O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the Potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
I was an art and design major in college and took a pottery class one semester. There was a lot more to shaping a ball of clay on a potter’s wheel than I first imagined. It was not as easy as it looked. First you had to have just the right amount of moisture in the clay; too much and it will not hold it’s shape, too little and it will not allow you to form it. Then there is having just the right amount of speed to the wheel and pressure on the clay as it spins. And it’s messy. My first attempts were pitiful. If I pushed too hard on one side, it would collapse on itself. If I had uneven pressure, one side would be crooked or lumpy. Not enough pressure and the whole piece of clay would fly off the wheel. After much practice and starting over many times, by the end of the semester I was finally able to make a cup, vase or plate that was well shaped and functional!
I read this verse in Isaiah in my quiet time with the Lord this morning and asked myself, “Am I allowing God to shape me? Am I open to His plans for my life? Open to the times of loving discipline, correction, situations that press in on me. A new season and direction He has? Do I trust Him as He is continuing to form Himself in me and shape me into what He knows is best to serve the purposes He has for my life?”
I admit I’ve had many times when my “clay” became dry and I resisted His shaping. I was not in close connection with the Lord, receiving His living water, and I was not readily open to His work in me. I was fearful and became unyielding and dug in, or I ignored certain promptings He put in my spirit and let things slide. And there have been times when I had too much “worldly water” (sin) in my life and the work of God did not hold. I was distracted with pursuing earthly things – too caught up in the cares of the world, or on other occasions trying to impart human reasoning instead of trusting God.
Right now I am in the midst of some huge transitions for our family and I’m feeling a bit resistant. My older daughter is moving back home after living independently abroad for three years. My younger daughter is graduating a semester early from college and will be living at home while she pursues a career job. My husband is making some major transitions with his work, and provision for all of these changes is very uncertain. Just when I thought we were downsizing and empty nesting, slowing down and settling into comfortable patterns, the Lord presses in on my “clay,” pats me back into a ball, and is reshaping me to prepare me for new things.
So as God is putting some new moisture back into my clay and is placing me on His Divine Potter’s wheel to modify me for the purposes He has in this next season of my life, I am both reluctant and excited. Although I have no idea what will happen this afternoon, tomorrow, next week, or next month, I know I need to fully trust the Potter. I need to be surrendered and pliable in His hands. He knows the plans and purposes He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11), and how to best “shape” and prepare me for it. I need to rest and be at peace as His loving hands enfold me and fashion me as I spin around on the wheel of life. He knows when something in my life needs to be cut off or added in, the perfect circumstances that help mold me and prepare me for the next steps. As I may have been a cup before, perhaps I now need to be a vase or a plate to best serve Him in what lies ahead. As much as I can dislike change, I also love the opportunity to experience new adventures with God that will be “above and beyond” anything I could hope or expect. I pray I will fully trust Him and delight in Him through this new formation process, spinning around on His wheel, knowing He is the only perfect Potter!
Where are you at with God’s reshaping process in your life? Trust Him through the process. Rest in knowing that He loves you and the plans and purposes He has for your life are good and perfect!
For His glory as I spin around on the wheel,