The Potter’s Process
We all want to become a vessel that is both seen as valuable to others, and that is also able to be used by God. So when we hear the metaphor Isaiah uses to compare our journey with God to a Potter forming His clay, we are moved by the idea of being thoughtfully guided into a masterpiece of His design. But if we truly understood the process that clay undergoes in order to become a priceless work of art, we may not feel quite as inspired.
In a nutshell, clay begins as rock, which has to be dug up from the earth and finely ground into dust. Once the dust is combined with other natural substances and water to create a pliable material, the potter begins the formation process. The clay is cut. Rolled. Stretched. Pushed. Pressed. Divided. Smashed. Beaten. Spun. Flipped...
And sometimes just when the potter thinks he’s almost finished, he finds a detrimental flaw that if not rectified, could destroy the whole thing. And the vessel has to be taken apart - completely broken so that the potter can start the process all over again.
When the basic structure is formed, the potter begins to refine the vessel. He takes special tools to trim away the excess and carve out unique designs. He adds and takes away. And then for the final step, the potter takes the vessel and places it in a fire hot enough to make it strong and keep its shape, but not hot enough to cause it to crumble.
To be molded and used by the Lord, you will face the same method. He will uproot you from your comfort zone, press you, push you, stretch you to your limits, and flip your life upside down. Somewhere through your process, you will make mistakes and create your own detrimental flaw, which will cause God to break your plans apart in order to piece you back together in the right place. He will give. And He will take away. He will strip away the unnecessary and add the beautiful. And then He will put you through a fire - a fire that will burn, but not break; a fire that will strengthen your spirit, remove impurities, and help you stand firm... All to mold you into the unique vessel He had in mind when He first created you.
No one likes the thought of going through the Potter’s process. But without it, we cannot become a brilliant, usable vessel. We would remain purposeless stone, or a weak and unfinished clay form. It’s through His deliberate process that we become whole. And if you allow yourself to be as malleable as clay so that God can step in and be the Potter, you’ll find the process to be most rewarding - for it’s what will refine your life into the very best of God’s intention.
Pray: “Lord, you are the Potter and I am the clay. Shape me and create me into whatever You want - whatever You need for the glory of Your name and the growth of Your kingdom. With all that I am, I want to be used by You. Help me to withstand the process to become a vessel that You can continually pour into and out of.”