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The Potter’s Wheel

by Joanna Pierce on October 12, 2016

When I was in junior high school, the educational administration desired all students obtain a well-rounded education. So, every 6 weeks, we would rotate 1 class in our daily schedule to receive instruction on a different skill set—shop, home economics, art, and the like.

I was beyond excited for my art class. As an aspiring young artist, I was eager to develop my drawing and painting skills, as well as glean a hour of creativity during my day. However, there was a portion of the art class I was not looking forward to. That part of the class was the pottery unit.

As thrilled as the rest of my classmates were about shoving their hands into a wet, slimy medium, having clay covering their clothes (and hair), and walking around for the rest of the day smelling like the earth, I did not want to have any part in it.

Pottery was a messy art form. It took forever to get the hang of shaping something on the wheel. I couldn’t ever form my clay right, so I was at the wheel for a long time remaking my vase (or whatever object) over, and over again. I hated having to keep the clay (and my hands) wet or else it would dry and crack before I was finished.

I would eventually give up and produce something a little less than perfect. Trust me—you wouldn’t be placing any one of my creations on your fireplace mantle…

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it (Jeremiah 18:3–4, KJV).

We serve our amazing Creator, who is likened to the potter in Scripture. He formed us (the clay) in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5)—knowing our end from the beginning of time (Isaiah 46:10).

The Lord set an ideal of how we should turn out as He formed us on His “potter’s wheel.” But, in our life of sin, we don’t always turn out the right way, so the Potter has to break us down to a lump of clay and start over again. God builds us back up in His own image (Genesis 1:27) to follow after holiness and righteousness (Ephesians 4:24).

This is a messy job. I know God has abundant disdain for recreating His original perfect work. He can’t get away from His potter’s wheel because we, as humans, continue to mess up day-by-day. His hands are constantly dirty remolding and reshaping us to walk in the right paths.

But, we should be thankful that we serve a God who loves us enough to keep His hands on the clay—to keep His hands dirty at the Potter’s wheel. When we don’t turn out right again and again, He keeps working on us and never gives up (Hebrew 13:5). He’s there carefully sculpting us, forming us, and building up the areas of our lives where we’re weak. And, He’s pouring into us the precious gift of the Holy Ghost (John 7:38) to keep us wet so we don’t crack and break in the process.

When we’re on the Potter’s wheel, being broken and reshaped, it doesn’t feel good. But, let’s take a step back for a moment and consider the Potter. We should be thankful He’s still working, still molding, and still has us on His wheel today. It’s a messy job. It’s a long task. But, our Potter thinks we’re worth it.

Let’s be grateful we’ve found a place on the Potter’s wheel today, that and we’ll be there until He’s ready to put us into the kiln—to transform us into our final form (I Corinthians 15:54).