“Grandma, can I get out the play dough?” Jordanne asked me last week when she was spending some time at our house. “Sure,” I responded, “but I’m not sure it’s still good.”
In the past, Jordanne and her twin cousins, Kooper and Kolton, had spent hours rolling out the Play Dough and cutting various shapes with cookie cutters, but I knew it hadn’t been touched for months.
She checked out the contents in each of the containers and found several were still workable, but a couple of them were dried up and useless and simply had to be thrown away.
The very next Sunday one of the songs chosen for worship contained the following words: “Change my heart, oh Lord, make it ever true; change my heart oh Lord, make me more like You. You are the Potter, I am the clay; Make me and mold me, this is what I pray.”
As I sang that chorus, I thought about Jordanne and the Play Dough, and how there are several scriptures in the Bible that refer to you and me as clay and to God as the potter. Isaiah 64:8 says, “You, O Lord are our Father. We are the clay, your are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
The kids have made some very “interesting” play dough creations! If the play dough is too dry, their artistic attempts just crumble and won’t hold together.
If we don’t allow God access to our hearts, we will do the same thing.
The potter knows that he has to start with a lump of hydrated clay so it will be malleable, and then he kneads it until he knows it is the right consistency. Some of us can become really dehydrated and hardened on this journey of life, but we have a great Potter who won’t throw us away if we submit our “lump of clay” to him and allow him to add the moisture of forgiveness, correction, grace and mercy necessary for Him to make us into the vessels He purposed us to be.
Several times during the kneading process the potter will use a wire to cut through the lump or clay to check for air bubbles; otherwise, bubbles can cause the pot to collapse on the wheel or to explode in the kiln.
Because he loves us, our Potter sometimes uses trials and tribulations in our lives as a divine wedging process to reveal flaws and wrong thinking patterns which could affect the usefulness of our vessels. God uses many circumstances and people in our lives to mold us and shape us. Our part is not be to hard hearted or stubborn, but to willingly submit our lives to him — to be malleable.
Once the potter has determined that the consistency of the clay is right, he centers it onto the wheel and begins to spin it, first forming it into a cylinder. Then with his fingers, he gently begins to shape the cylinder into the vessel of his choosing by pressing outward from inside the pot!
That is exactly the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives once we accept Jesus as our savior. He comes to dwell within us and enables us to change from the inside out!
“We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Cor 4:7.
The pot is now formed and removed from the wheel but it is very fragile and must be fired in a kiln before it can be a durable and useful vessel. We shrink back at the process of the refining fire in our lives, but there is a divine purpose for it. Just as the impurities rise to the top when silver and gold is refined, we often see our own impurities surface when things heat up in our lives.
To add finish and design to the vessel, it has to be refired at an extremely high temperature. The touch and skill of an artist’s hand at this stage can turn a simple pot into an object of real beauty. Our Potter knows exactly what “kilns” we need to be “fired” in to reproduce the beauty of his character within us and conform us to his image. His desire is not to produce fragile and beautiful vases to sit on a shelf or behind glass doors, but to make us into vessels that can pour out the humility, love, mercy, compassion of Jesus and bring healing to a broken world.
You say, “But I’m just a pot that is cracked and broken, I am of no use to anyone.”
Our amazing Potter knows how to repair and heal any and all vessels; then he delights in using those very healed cracks and broken areas to create a vessel of beauty, value and worth in His eyes.
Once broken but now healed pots bring hope to the hopeless and drink to the thirsty. We don’t have to remain on the shelf as does the one hundred year old pitcher that belonged to my husband’s grandma because it has a crack and I’m afraid it will break if I use it. No, we bring our cracked and broken selves to the only Potter who can repair us and give us purpose.
As we continually make our jars of clay available to him, he will replenish whatever we pour out from his inexhaustible source of love and strength.
Jo Moon was born, raised and lives in Adna. She is a mother of five and grandmother of 15, great-grandma of one, Daughter of the Pioneers and third-generation Sunday school and Bible study teacher.