“And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay and you are the Potter. We are all formed by your hand” (Isaiah 64:8, LB).
There is a story in every vessel made by the Master Potter. There is a place where the clay is lifted from the earth, a chosen place noted for its color and hue. This unique and special clay looks like ordinary mud to most but to the Master Potter, it possesses the needed qualities to make a priceless vessel. The Master Potter carries this handful of clay back to His workshop. There He places the chosen clay unto His potter’s wheel. Slowly He begins to turn the wheel moistening the clay with care and expertise. The clay begins to take the shape imagined by the Master Potter and although it was just mass of soil moments ago, He now begins to shape and form the structure of a vessel. The Master’s hands are firm but ever gentle applying pressure exactly as needed. He is pushing and kneading, softening and pulling, creating lines and markings while lifting and rounding off the edges of unfolding vessel.
If the clay is defective or stubborn, it must be put aside or mixed with other clay of better qualities. If the clay is supple melding itself to the intention of the Master; the shape of the vessel begins to resemble the perfect design the Potter has purposed it to be. When the vessel has been turned and fashioned into its intended form, it must dry a bit in the air as the Master looks over His vessel. The Master Potter tenderly watches so no one disturbs the vessel in its unfinished state. He protects it from careless workers tempted to consider the vessel finished. He also stands by His vessel ready to turn away any vandals, who might steal such a beautiful designed vessel.
After a time, the Master Potter takes the vessel to the kiln to temper the clay into a substance strong and stout. As the heat rises, the vessel becomes stronger and stronger until it reaches a point of strength needed for its purpose. Still the Master Potter is not finished with His masterpiece. He brushes the vessel with a protective glaze returning it to the kiln to permanently set the glistening finish.
The vessel now completely resembles the masterful design and it shows the intent, skill and completed craftsmanship of the Potter. The vessel now bears the mark of the Master Potter and is of great value. The beautiful vessel is finished, complete in purpose and revealing excellence simply because the clay yielded itself freely and completely to the creative, caring, loving and skilled hands of the Master Potter.
Where throughout the entire process of becoming a vessel, does the clay ever give anything? To become a priceless vessel, it only has to trust and yield to the Master. At what point in this purposed course of action of being formed and conditioned would there be any reason for the clay to refuse the touch of the Master Potter’s hand? At what stage of being molded, turned or fired, does the clay know; what is needed or required for it to be a true vessel worthy to bear the mark of excellence in its strength, beauty or function?
Why are so resistant to the Master Potter? Why do we as the clay, value our ability and wisdom so important as to make ourselves into a vessel of our own design? Why would our design be better than the Master Potter? Why do we do we want to escape the trials that would temper us in faith, when we should be trusting in the Master Potters watchful eye as He lets us be fired appropriately to make strong in His love? Why are we not willing to let Him apply a liberal coating of grace to make us glisten as we show His touch and presence? Why are we as the clay so unyielding and untrusting? There is an amazing thing about our God. He as the Master Potter never ceases to love us and remains ever attentive and fixed on us as the clay. His only desire is to create a masterpiece in the vessel that we will become the legacy of our days lived out on this earth and into eternity. His purpose is to make us a vessel of quality and beauty and one that will bring Him glory. In spite of all of our rebelliousness, this Master waits with a patience beyond understanding for our repentance and the yielding of our hearts to His touch, so He as the Potter can finish his work in us.
So what will be the story of the vessel of clay that God wants to make of your life? Will you allow Him to mold and shape you? Will you trust Him as He allows trials to temper and strengthen you? Will you allow Him to cover you with grace so you can shine with His love as a vessel of His creation and purpose? Let Him be the Master Potter with the clay of your life. Let Him make you, the useful and beautiful vessel He wants you to be.
Suggested Reading … Isaiah 64