“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’”
11 This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.”
God is the potter. I am the clay in his hands. The potter is slow, steady and methodical as the clay spins madly round and round. How many rotations does clay have to spin exactly before an imperfection is corrected, or a shape becomes just right to the potter’s eye? This metaphor of potter and clay speaks of God’s grace in my relentless need to learn a lesson a few times before I finally bend. Before I finally succumb to a new shape or way of being. I spin around the same problem, the same mistake, the same unhealthy pattern, the same conversation or wrestling match with God over and over again before I finally bend like clay in His hands. Yet the potter’s hands stay right where they are through it all, holding me up and keeping me from complete collapse. The potter is patient. Steady. Strong. Relentless. Confident that the clay will shape according to His hands…it’s just a matter of time. Of repetitions.
Sometimes clay gets hardened and dry. Unable to move, unable to bend. Practically resisting the touch of the potter’s hands. It is then that water is added. Living water that fills the dry cracks and smooths the rough edges. The water could be Scripture, the presence of God, the touch of grace or any other filled need of the spirit and heart. The water makes the clay softer. Moldable. Without water, clay hardens and breaks. It no longer can be shaped by the potter’s hands…
It’s hard being the clay because the clay has no control. No control over how it is shaped. When it is shaped. How grand and intricate it will be…or how small and simple. The Potter decides it. All of it. The Potter has plans for the clay that the clay cannot understand. Do I trust the Potter? Do I trust his craftsmanship? The gentleness of his hands? Do I allow the Potter access to the hardest places of my heart…knowing he’s going to push hard on those places in order to soften them? Do I trust that the base the Potter sets me on is sturdy? Do I trust that he’s never going to give up on the most stubborn piece of clay that I feel and see that I am?
Am I allowing myself to take in water?
So much in this world has the ability to dry my heart and my spirit. To leave me cracked and hardened, unwilling to take in water. If I allow it to, this out-of-control world can leave me grasping at anything that gives the illusion of control. But, I wonder what would happen if I stopped grasping? What if, instead, I fully lived into the out-of-control essence that I was meant to have from the very beginning? Fully owned and succumbed to being the clay that I am…trusting the in-control and powerful Potter? The Potter determines the shape that I am being molded into, and the amount of time required for me to take shape. All I need to do is trust the Potter by taking in the water he pours on me, and bending at the touch of his hand.