Love: Week Four – Day One
O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah 64:8 (NRSV)
Pottery was such an indispensable part of life during the time of the Bible. Nearly everything you ate, sold, wore or enjoyed was stored in or served on pottery. Each piece of pottery was entirely unique and handmade. That’s not the case today; but back then every plate, bowl, jug, and cup was formed by a skilled artisan working with clay.
If you have any experience working with clay, you’ll know there are a few things you need to go from a lump of dirt to a lovely work of craftsmanship. The first thing you need is water to make the clay malleable. Dried out clay cannot be formed and will crumble into dust. A proud and difficult heart is like dry clay in the hands of God. It will break apart and never become the beautiful creation God has planned. If God is the potter of our lives, that means we must present ourselves to God as well watered clay. We must be willing to be lovingly molded by God, to let God lead us and shape us and make us something wonderful.
The other thing you need to make pottery is time. If God is shaping our lives it means we must be patient. God wants us to be perfect before the end, and perfection takes time. We are called to be humble and hopeful while God is working within us.
The final stage of making pottery is the kiln, where the clay is heated and hardens. What’s interesting about pottery is that it can be both beautiful and useful. We use plates to serve bread and cups to drink water. When the master potter is finished with us, we will be beautiful and valuable. We will be equipped to love our neighbor who is hungry or thirsty through humble service. We can serve as tools for the kingdom of God.
Think about your own faith journey today. Have you offered yourself to God as a malleable piece of clay? Are you letting God shape and mold you with humility and love? If not, how can you soften your spirit to better accommodate God’s work in your life? Where do you need to yield to God and stop trying to have your own way? And where can you serve as a faithful piece of God’s handmade pottery?