Just as God created Adam, so too, our God created each and every one of us. When God created human beings, he put his hands on us. “Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) Likewise, God used his hands to create woman: “then he took one of his [the man’s] ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman.” (Genesis 2:21-22). But God didn’t simply create us, set us aside, create another, and sit back and leave us on our own. He is constantly working on us, molding and shaping us into the person he created us to be. He is the Potter. We are the clay.
The potter determines the form and function of the finished piece. The clay waits, ready to be molded. To make a beautiful, strong piece, the potter must knead the air bubbles out of the raw clay. It must then be centered on the pottery wheel. It is the same for us, the human clay. In order for the Master Potter to do his work in and on us, we need to have our hearts centered, too. Our entire being – heart, mind, body, and soul need to be centered on Christ. When we are not centered on Christ and our focus is on false gods (money, pride, materialism, self-sufficiency, etc.) we become warped, misshapen. The potter must then begin the reshaping process.
When we go our own way, thinking we know it all, that we can live our lives without the hand of God to guide, mold and shape us, our loving Potter often must push a little harder, moving the clay this way or that. Other times he simply must flatten us and begin again. This can be uncomfortable and downright painful, but necessary if we are to be the beautiful creation God intended. Life would be so much easier if we could just let the Potter work on us in his own way, at his own pace. Unfortunately, we are born into a world broken by sin and cannot help ourselves. Most of us simply cannot “let go and let God.” Try as we might, we cannot do it.
What happens when we, in our stubborn human nature, do not like the shape our lives are taking? The Apostle Paul writes: “But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use?” (Romans 9:19-21) These words bring words of consolation for those of us (including me) who are not seeing our lives take the shape we thought God had chosen. We must have faith that God is with us, even in those times of doubt and fear: “In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7) When we set aside our prideful vision, he will take, mold, use and fill us in accordance with his will. We are in his hands. “Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” (Jeremiah 18:6)
A lump of clay in the Potter's Hand,