Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Potter & the Clay (originally published April '08)

…We are the clay, and You our potter; and we are all the work of Your hand. ~ Isaiah 64:8

Have you ever watched a potter work? He takes a dense mass of clay and first pounds and shapes it into a ball. He then places it firmly in the center of the potter’s wheel and begins the slow process of shaping. Initially, the clay is quite rigid and unyielding, so he continuously uses water to keep it workable.

The potter’s job requires much patience. As the wheel spins, he continuously changes the position of his hands and fingers as he shapes the clay into what he wants it to be. More pressure here, a more delicate touch there, literally even squeezing in some places. He might even change the speed at which the wheel is turning.

Once the clay takes on its initial shape, he begins using tools that trim away excess and further refine it into the desired form. By now, the piece looks finished, but must be placed in the kiln and subjected to intense heat before it is fully strengthened and usable to its fullest potential.

I’ve been thinking about our message yesterday which brought this question…

“How are you responding to God’s attempts to mold and shape your life?"

More specifically…

Have you first offered yourself to Him for use?

Are you allowing Him to pound, press, apply pressure and even squeeze where needed?

Are you soaking in the water of his Word in order that you might remain workable?

Have you given Him the ability to trim away those excess things in your life keeping you from a closer walk with Him?

Are you willing to be subjected to intense heat so that in the end you’ll be fully strengthened and more perfected?

Or…

Are you resisting being used at all?

Are you fighting his attempts to pound, press, apply pressure and even squeeze where needed?

Have you neglected soaking in the water from God’s Word and in doing so, become resistant, rigid and unyielding to change?

Are you trying to avoid (or asking God to take away) painful situations, rather than endure the work of His refining tools?

Do you give up in the midst of intense heat, before ever realizing the full strength you could gain in Him through the process?

In the end, I don't want to be a vessel whose shape bears no resemblance to the Potter's design; one that represents defiance and resistance to His workings. Instead, I want my final shape to be that which He lovingly intended and purposefully created because I surrendered to His hands. More than anything...I want to be a creation He can look upon with great joy.

Lord, I want to be used by you. Help me to allow you full access to every part of me. Do what is needed to shape me into who you want me to be. Help me stay saturated in your Word so that my heart is tender and workable. Take away those things that keep me from a closer walk with you. When I find myself in the midst of extreme discomfort, Lord remind me those trials are from you, specifically designed for me, that I may become fully strengthened and perfected in you. May it be so Lord Jesus…

11 comments:

NanaNor's said...

Blessings Tracy, What a wonderful post! I used to take pottery and it brought back so many memories and like you I say Amen to His hand shaping me according to His plan for my life.
Thanks for sharing!
Noreen

Karen said...

Amen...beautifully written, Tracy!

Becky said...

So true! We want to be vessels unto honor, fit for the Master's use!

Well said, Tracy.

Just a little something from Judy said...

The potter and the clay...perfect illustration of who He is and what He continually works in our lives. I think of this illustration so often, and how it applys to my life. I am definitely a work in progress, and I often wonder what will God's final vessel look like when He is finished with me?

I was so thrilled when I received my book today! I have already started reading Elaine's book, and I think it is so good. Thank you so much my friend. You are so kind and generous!

Lea said...

Oh Tracy,
What a timely post.
More than anything I want God's perfect will for my life. Have had a prayer I've been asking God to answer and so far I've not gotten a clear answer. Because of this, I tend to want to figure it out on my own... but I know that would be wrong.
My Mom had a sign on her fridge for a long time that said in permanent marker. USE ME OH LORD.
I can see it engraved in our vessels.

Diana said...

Tracy, great post! Through our study we are finishing tonight, it keeps coming up, "Let go, and let God!"

Powerful...

Kristi said...

Sweet friend I could just bawl through this post but I'm at the salon with my hair in foil trying not to look more like a freak of nature than I already am. Puffy eyes and runny mascara just might do it. I am thankful for the Potters hands even when I don't act like I am. Thank you for your encouraging words today ony blog. You are a blessing!

Melanie Redd said...

Tracy,

What a great word and a wonderful visual of the way God works in our lives!

I don't love the part that reads... "Are you allowing Him to pound, press, apply pressure and even squeeze where needed?"

But, I do really want Him to use me.

Thanks for the challenge today!

Blessings,
Melanie

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

I so love the story of the potter and clay. I'm so thankful that my Jesus is so ever patient with me...as he works to mold and make me in HIS image.

I'm also thankful that as he works...he knows what I need..and when I need it..and he's ever so careful and gentle...to ensure everything works together.

God has been showing me lately that with each piece of my molding and shaping that may be uncomfortable.....it for my best...and for him to use...as I reach out and minster to others.

Thank you my friend...for this encouraging..much needed word today.

Kim~

Susan said...

I needed this more then you'll ever know Tracy.

Thanks so very much!

Connie Barris said...

The strangest thing... on my walk today, I have this very image.. and now you confirm God's words to me..

thank you
Connie