“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me; “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? Declares the Lord. “Like the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:4-6
In one of the African villages in which I held a mobile clinic the people manufactured pottery. Hundreds of years earlier the pottery site had been established there because the ground was the best clay mixture for making urns and pots.
I walked behind a mud hut to watch a village potter in action. I imagined coming to a spinning base with the potter standing before it, but the potter was running around the base in rapid circles as she shaped the clay. As she spun herself around and around the pedestal, I got so dizzy watching her I had to turn away.
Even before Christ, thousands of years ago potters made clay vessels. Without a source of external power or technology, how did the pedestal whirl around fast in circles for the potter to shape the clay? I think they must have had a foot pedal like in the older sewing machines, but what did they do before someone invented the foot pedal? They took a lump of clay and shaped it as evenly as possible with their hands.
If I were a lump of clay and tried to spin myself around or even tried swirling in the opposite direction, I’d pass out from vertigo. No piece of clay can force itself into what it wants to be. Clay can’t even fight back.
How does God mold you? If you surrender to Him, He probably spins you around with his power and shapes you at the same time. He’s omnipotent and omniscient. By breathing on you, He can bake you in His the kiln of holiness.
Clay does not resist. It is an inanimate substance and cannot spin itself around in circles or mold itself. It cannot say. “I don’t want to be an urn to hold ashes, I want to be a beautiful vase to hold bouquets.”
“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”
As clay in the Potter’s Hand, be unyielding and wait for the master to shape you into the utensil that would be perfect. If you are clay in his hands, you can’t oppose the maker. Surrender to Him and His will, so He can mold you into what is best.
“Like the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.”