by Kevin Burton
If life were a play and you could read for one of two parts, would you audition to be the potter or the clay?
You have arrived not at a play, but at a second-period Ceramics class at the Earthly School for the Spiritually Blind.
Spiritual blindness is a deadly condition we seek to avoid at ESSB.
In ceramics class years ago I imagined myself a great designer, deciding shape, color and functionality of my creations.
Of course there is a higher, greater Designer.
“Scripture’s dominant theme is a simple one: God is the divine potter and humanity is the clay,” wrote Dr. David Jeremiah, speaker on the Turning Point radio ministry. “It is another way to express God’s sovereignty and our need to yield to his divine plan.”
The most detailed example of the potter and clay analogy is in Jeremiah 18, as explained in a passage on http://www.gotquestions.org.
“God instructed the prophet Jeremiah to go to a potter’s house where God would illustrate His relationship with Israel. Verses 2–6 say, ‘So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 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. He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel’”
“Although God allows human beings freedom to make moral choices, He demonstrates often that He is still sovereign and in control of His universe,” the Got Questions website reads.
Isaiah 45:9 (NKJV) reads, “Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands?’”
The four-step processes of making a clay pot and shaping a mature Christian have some similarities, as outlined on the website www.creativebiblestudy.com.
“Preparing the clay includes both the adding of water and a practice called wedging which consists of kneading the clay to remove any bubbles while also causing the clay to become less sticky.
Our spiritual life begins with the Living Water, Christ, coming into our lives; then a spiritual wedging begins filling the empty places in our life while causing us to no longer stick or cling to the world as before.
God is not a cosmic power that is vague and untouchable. We see this in the example of God the Potter; He never takes His hands away from His clay. Whether a potter uses a hand building technique or wheel throwing, his hands remain on the clay constantly molding and shaping.
“When we yield ourselves to being placed on the center of the wheel, God’s will, He is able to pull and stretch us, mold and form us, protect and purge us of anything that shouldn’t be there.”
“Firing brings about the maturity of the clay causing it to endure and last even thousands of years. It changes the clay on a molecular level transforming it from a soft, pliable substance to that which is strong and durable.”
“There are two phases to firing: bisque firing and glaze firing. Once a piece is fired there is no going back! This makes me think of how the fire of the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at Pentecost. In the same way we receive the Holy Spirit at the moment we receive Christ into our lives. We are transformed into a new creation [2 Cor. 5:17] and sealed by the fire of the Holy Spirit.”
“Glaze firing adds a second layer of strength and durability. Those tough, hard times which seem like walking through fire, have purpose; they actually make us stronger not weaker.”
“This last step consists of adding the glazes and paints; it’s where the color begins! Any artist will tell you there are limitless combinations of colors and glazes making each piece not only hand-formed unique, but also individually decorated.
“Just as the clay is surrendered to the potter’s hands, so we as believers in Jesus Christ surrender and rest in God the Potter’s capable hands.”
Class notes, second period, Ceramics: God knows all, sees all and is more than qualified to mold you and your life into what is best. He is sovereign and shapes events whether you know it, like it, or not.
One for the spiritual road: Are you in the Potter’s hands? It is the safest place to be. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:29 NKJV).