So, I’ve been reading Christine Hoover’s Searching for Spring, right? I wrote this post referencing her book and I promised I would share some more of it with you. I love when I read something and things finally make sense. Like, when God is the Potter and we are the clay. I’ve heard that reference a thousand times, but I don’t think I’ve ever truly understood what it meant until now. Which, is a shame. You’d think I would’ve understood a long time ago.
Keep reading, you’ll see what I mean in a second.
(Quick side note: Christine’s Searching for Spring has officially launched. You can purchase a copy here! 10/10 would recommend.)
Down Memory Lane: Ceramics Class
There are a couple Bible verses that reference God being the Craftsman. For example, Isaiah 64:8 says, But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand.
Well, friend, I’ve been thinking about this very reference for a bit now.
Fun fact: in college, I took a ceramics class as an elective. And pretty much hated every minute of it. My goodness, I spent more time in the art studio that semester than I did actually studying for my core classes. To make it a little worse, after ceramics class, I usually had to go straight into work. Ever tried to work a pottery wheel? It’s messy. Real messy. And hard. So, just imagine what I looked like when I got to work. Hot mess doesn’t even describe it, y’all. There were times I had clay in my hair and just had to leave it.
I can’t really tell you much about the different techniques or the types of clay. The really technical details that I learned in that class have been long forgotten. Most of my pieces turned out super janky, too. (Janky, by definition, means bad. Reaaaaal bad, y’all). The majority of my pieces are still hiding under my bed in a box, never to see the sunlight again.
What I can tell you about pottery, though, and working with clay is that it’s not easy as it looks. Not in the slightest.
Making Pottery Isn’t Easy
To get a piece to turn out just right on the wheel and survive through the kiln, you’ve really got to know what you’re doing.
(For all you non-pottery people, the kiln is a giant, high temp oven. Once your piece is completely finished and ready to bake, it gets stuck in the kiln for a couple of hours. Your piece will go in looking dull due to the dried glaze. But once it comes out of the kiln, it’s shiny and beautiful and ready to use.)
Before you get to the kiln, though, there are some things you need to pay attention to:
- When you sit down at the wheel, you have to make sure your clay is clean. If other words, it cannot have tiny rocks or other debris in it. If it does, that’ll be a problem later.
- If there is an air bubble in your piece, it will explode in the kiln. Literally, explode. Shards of clay go everywhere. And, if someone else’s piece is in the kiln, too, there’s a chance your exploding piece will cause damage to someone else’s work. You’ll need to work out the air bubbles BEFORE your piece comes off the wheel.
- Is your piece too thin on one side? Good chance you’ll have problems later on. So, you’ll need to rework it to make sure it’s sturdy and even.
Doesn’t that sound like God, though?
Thank Goodness God is the Potter
When we give our hearts and lives to God, he never stops working on us. Through the blood of Jesus, he makes us clean. All the dirty stuff, all of the rocks that we’re holding onto, gone. And if we pick some dirt up again or try to hold onto some rocks, God will lay it on our hearts to drop it.
Because as His creation, He is making us beautiful. And sometimes that takes time, some work, and may make us uncomfortable for a little while.
Those air bubbles in the clay? Well, sometimes we have those in our lives, too. If we don’t pray about those bubbles and let God work them out, there’s a good chance we’ll hurt someone else with our actions or our words. And as we know, actions and words can really inflict some deep damage to others, whether we intend to or not.
Unlike me driving the pottery wheel, God actually knows what he’s doing. He knows how to perfectly mold us. He knows just how to shape us, too. And sometimes, He tries us by fire. But, after the fiery trial, just like the pottery piece in the kiln, we come out beautiful, shiny, and ready to use. We just have to give up control, stop fighting, and let him do his perfect work.
Trust God through the process. It may look like a mess for a while, but he can make all things beautiful.
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