In the hands of an expert potter, wet clay is molded into a beautiful open vessel. In God’s loving hands, my heart is pushed, squeezed, and pulled upward in the same manner. When the pot isn’t what the potter wants, He throws it back onto the wheel, applies water, and starts over. God has stretched, squeezed, pushed, and pulled my heart as never before this month. He’s caught all of my tears and applied them to my heart in order to get it ready for His loving hands. I’ve been digging my own cisterns instead of depending upon His living water, and those cisterns were as dry as they have ever been this week. God used Jeremiah’s vivid images of pottery, cisterns, and fountains to teach important lessons in faith, peace, love, and hope. God’s Word may tear down, pluck up, and destroy my heart, but God builds it back in a beautiful way bringing me ever closer to His love, His Son’s grace, and His sweet Spirit’s peace. God’s molding leaves my heart, like the potter’s vessel, open and ready to be filled from His life-giving fount. God is love, and love changes everything. Knowing I’m loved gives me the courage to be still and let God have His way with my heart and show me the peace He has planned for my path. The heart lift that results will be worth all the squeezing, pulling, and pushing.
Jeremiah 18:1-6 paints a vivid picture of a potter taking a jar that didn’t come out the way He wanted, crushing it back into a lump of clay, and starting over. God tells Jeremiah He can do the same with Israel. He can, and has, done the same with me. Hear the passage.
The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “’Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.’ So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: ‘O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.'”
It is a harsh passage, but one that contains great love and hope. Just as a potter can remake a jar, so can God remake me. That’s preferable to being tossed to the floor and swept away. God’s used the image of pottery and clay many times as He’s taught difficult lessons in love. My heart has been a clay pot thrown to the floor, a lump of clay, and a fragile china vase. It’s back to the lump of clay, but I’m learning that’s the best place for it to be. With loving hands, God will reshape and make it something better than it’s ever been. I trust Him and am learning that the more flexible I become in those loving hands, the easier it is for both of us.
When I read these scriptures, I can’t help but see the image of a lump of clay fighting and wiggling in the potter’s hands. I have only made one pot in my life, and I absolutely loved it! I took a workshop called “Journey of the Creative Spirit” back in 1999, and I got to go to a potter’s home and make a mountain face pot. I was handed a slip of paper upon arrival and told that would be the emotion I had to bring out of the clay. I got surprise and here is my creation.
While working on the pot, I found myself captured by the creative spirit and lost all track of time. I treasure my little pot because I think it may be reflect what that jar in the scriptures was feeling before the potter crushed it into a lump of clay or it may be how it felt after seeing God’s work. I had a terrible time with the ears of this pot and had to take them off more than once. I’m sure God can relate! It reminds me to make sure my ears and eyes stay open to all God has to say and to use my mouth to sing His praises. The girls love the pot that sits in my bathroom and holds my brushes. I figure it has the right expression considering what my hair looks like when I wake up =0
God allows me to start over each and every day, and that is a blessing for which I shall be eternally grateful. He also reshapes my heart when needed, and that fills me with great hope. I can find peace in the path knowing that God is there to reform my heart when necessary.