Near our home is a wide creek, and along its shores, under the rocks and around the dirt, lay clay. It’s a little difficult to dig out of the earth with bare hands but unlike the dirt and sand nearby it doesn’t crumble or fall through your fingers. It sticks together, building, growing, and becoming with every piece added to it. I love the way clay feels, it’s cold at first, but as it is worked in one’s hands it becomes warmer, softer, and will take on the shape it’s being molded into, and in the hands of an artist will ultimately become something of beauty and purpose. Like clay, God intends to shape us and mold us into a wonderful masterpiece. We are his artwork, his creation, formed with intention.
A potter has many tools and many techniques. Some smooth and soften, others cut and strip away, and still others carve and shape the clay; each tool always in the potter’s hands, and every technique intentional, resembling God’s work in our lives. Sometimes his work is painful, when we lose a piece of ourselves, or a part of our life falls away. The tears flow like water running down the side of wet clay, through God’s fingers, being used to soften any rough edges away. These are the moments when God’s hands feel so close, when the warmth of being held comforts and heals; it changes us. In God’s hands, every detail of our life continues to make us into who we are becoming. In his hands nothing is wasted, and whether it hurts or heals, adds, or takes away, is ultimately being used for good, allowing us to become all that he has desired us to be and fulfilling every purpose he has desired from the very beginning. There is purpose in the potter’s work, through not always understood or welcomed, none the less he is working, and he is good.
Preceding any evidence of our lives, God already designed his plans for us. He shapes every part of our unborn unseen body. He shapes every aspect of us, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He leaves nothing untouched and is intricately involved in every detail that makes us who we are and who we are becoming. We each have these inherit characteristics that define us, that make us unique, that prepare us and allow us to be who God is creating. His work, though, isn’t finished at birth. For the entirety of our lives, we will remain in the potter’s hands. He will continue molding us and shaping us until we lay our earthly vessel to rest and move onward into heavenly perfection where this work God has done, where what we have become, in holy splendor will be fully revealed in all grandeur.
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” -Genesis 2:7
“But now, O lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”-Isaiah 64:8
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”-Ephesians 2:10