In The Potter’s Hands

Okay, it’s 4:30 a.m. and I won’t be able to sleep until I’ve put this thought to pixels.

It’s not a new idea.

It goes all the way back to Isaiah – 29:16, to be exact – where the prophet says we get everything backwards:

You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing”?

Isaiah’s telling us we need to back off how we think God should have made us; accept His sovereignty, His wisdom; and be what He made us.

It’ll get tough for us if we don’t (45:9):

“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?”

We’ll always be unhappy – with God; with ourselves. But we’ll blame Him instead of taking responsibility for what we’ve chosen and accepting the person He’s made of us through our choices and words and actions.

If we can do that, we’ll be blessed (64:8):

“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Then Jeremiah takes up the theme (18:3-6):

“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: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the LORD. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.'”

But I shouldn’t forget that Paul advises the same humility with the same metaphor, too (Romans 9:21):

“Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”

“Why did you make me this way, God?” asks us. “Why did you make me with _____ ?” and we fills in the blanks according to us each.

More trouble with greed in my heart than others have? Lust for what isn’t mine? Homosexual cravings? A bad ticker? Cancer? A craving for alcohol? The inability to have children of my own?

Silly us. We blame Him.

When we should thank Him.

Because maybe His answer is: “I wanted you to know suffering like my Son did.”

“I wanted you to know what it’s like to sacrifice, to give up what you want in order to have what you need – and what I give.”

“I wanted you to understand what it means to be despised and rejected so you will be accepting and free of judgment toward others.”

“I wanted you to perceive how important it is to have a good heart for as long as your life lasts.”

“I wanted you to understand what slavery is all about, so you’ll choose Me as your Master and crave living water more than the distillation of death.”

“I wanted you to comprehend how dearly I love all of my children and how precious your adoption makes you to Me.”

Have thine own way, Lord; have thine own way.
Thou art the potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, after thy will
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
– Adelaide Pollard

Okay. Now I can sleep.

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5 thoughts on “In The Potter’s Hands

  1. Great thoughts Keith, we talk to often of breaking out of the “mold” when perhaps we should discover the mold we should be conforming to!One question: Is blogging the reason for sleeplessness or just the habit WE resort to when we can’t sleep. Or were these thoughts just rattling around in your head and wouldn’t let you go till you put them down???

  2. <>Forming<> in my head, I think I’d rather say. And/or my heart. One of those “fire in the bones” things.I did sleep about thirty minutes after that, till my PDA faithfully awakened me at 6:00 a.m.!

  3. Glad you got some sleep–I don’t always understand why God does what He does in my life–but I believe He loves me so much, no matter how hard he *molds* me–He is doing what He knows is best. After all, He’s already shown me Who wins.I am thankful for a blog where I can work out my thoughts in the night–and I am thankful you let God form thoughts for you here–I have been blessed!JB

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