Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Oct. 2, 2007

The Potter's Wheel 
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.  But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.  Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O, house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?”  declares the Lord. “ Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…”   Jeremiah 18: 3-6

I like to get my hands messy. Maybe that’s what led me into ceramics class in college.  As the only one in the class who wasn’t an art major, I was well out of my comfort zone. Throughout the semester, we learned about types of clay, textures and techniques.  But what I really wanted to do was use the potter’s wheel.  Our instructor made it look so easy.  Sit down at the wheel, roll up your sleeves, throw down your prepared clay, get it wet, start the wheel, press the clay, and create a cool-looking bowl, jar, plate or whatever you wanted!  Then, it was my turn.  I went to the wheel and threw the clay on it… but missed.  It hit the floor.  I tried again.  This time I hit the wheel.  Success!  Now I had to shape the clay into a “hockey puck” that was completely even and centered on the wheel.  Hours later, I was frazzled.  My back hurt from being hunched over the wheel, my shoulder was sore from throwing the clay, my fingers were cramped from kneading the clay and my wrists seemed frozen in place from pressing hard enough to make a “hockey puck.”  It took me the rest of the semester to create something – anything – worth taking home.

Creating a masterpiece takes time.  It takes patience, creativity, vision and forethought.  That’s how God described His role in Jeremiah’s life.  God is the potter, Jeremiah (and we) are the clay.  Isaiah 45:9 states, “Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’” and Isaiah 64: 8 reads, “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

So often, we want to be control, telling God what we want Him to do in our lives, how we want Him to answer a specific prayer or how we want Him to work something out.  But who are we to tell our Creator what to do or how to answer a prayer or how to respond to a request?  Like Jeremiah, our role is to be the clay.  This means we are to patiently undergo the processes of preparation, centering, shaping, and refining at the will of our Creator, and not the other way around.

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Today, don’t resist the will of the Creator. Patiently allow God to mold you into His image and into a tool He can use for His glory.


Romans 9:21; 2 Timothy 2:20; Genesis 1:27

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