So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.
I have watched a potter working on a lump of clay a few times, and it is a remarkable and an amazing sight to see. That is not because the potter is a genius or that the clay has something extra special in it. The fact is that the potter and the clay have a very special relationship with each other.
The potter knows what he wants to make and does what is necessary to shape and mold the clay. Then the clay has to be moldable and ready for what the potter wants to do. It is not an easy process. It takes time. It takes energy. Even pain is part of the process as is patience and strength on both parts.
I’d like to show you the process of how the potter works on the clay, but you can find that on your own. Google a video of a potter or something like that. But I’d like to focus on a different aspect.
The clay is an important part of the process that most people most likely don’t recognize. The clay has to have the right properties and be able to be molded and made into what the potter is thinking about.
During the process the potter puts the clay on the wheel and begins to work on it with skill and stamina. This is a safe place, but the potter may have to cut away some of the tough spots that hurt the clay. The clay will go through a time of molding and making. I don’t know how much time, but I do know that the more ornate the vessel that the potter is making the longer the time the potter will take.
There is also heat and fire that goes in to the process of making the clay in to the vessel or the pot or vase or whatever. It is not useful until it is strong and molded in to something that will stay.
There really is comfort from being in the potter’s hand. A lump of clay will do and can do nothing on it’s own. It cannot become an expensive vase or an inexpensive bowl without the touch and time of the potter. The relationship of the potter and the clay are inseparable.
In this Scripture God is reminding us that God is the potter and that we are his clay. There is comfort that comes from us allowing ourselves to be in His hands, in the potter’s hands. He can and will make more of us than we can make for ourselves. He knows what needs to stay and what needs to be thrown away. In the potter’s hands is the love and care that we, as God’s children, desperately needs. We were created for connecting and relationship with God. The potter and the clay illustrate this so well.
May we allow ourselves to get comfortable in the Father’s hands and find comfort from staying with Him more and more. The comfort of being in the potter’s hands will change our lives here and forever.