“And yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You are the potter. We all are formed by Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8, NLT)
As I walked with God and started to spend time with Him, I began to notice horrible things within myself. Things like greed, pride, lust, selfishness and hatred. I could not bear who I was, especially knowing that these things break God’s heart.
At one point, I took a look to see how clay is chosen, prepared and moulded. It is quite a process. First, the potter chooses his clay according to his preferences. Some potters prefer to use darker stoneware clay – this can give work more character and texture. Each type of clay has a different consistency and character. After selecting the clay, the potter has to prepare it. This is a very important step because if they do not knead it properly, air bubbles could be left in the clay which would cause it to explode in the fire. Once the clay is prepared, it is placed on the centre of a wheel and the potter starts to shape it to his desire.
Once the forming of the clay is completed, a string is used to cut off any excess clay. It is then left to dry. When the clay is a bit harder, the potter trims the piece: this gives it a more refined look and feel. Potters then usually add their signatures to the bottom of their work, showing the admirer to whom it belongs. Once the clay is completely dry, it is then put into the fire to harden and set so that it cannot be easily broken. Finally, after the glaze firing is complete, pieces usually need a quick sand or grind to ensure that any sharp edges are removed. Then the potter has his masterpiece completed, reflecting the work of his hands.
Over the past few years, the Lord has been taking me through a process of moulding and shaping, getting rid of all my ‘air bubbles’ and ‘kneading’ me to reflect Christ. It has not been an easy process. I also understand that the process is not yet over, but what I do know is that one day when I see the Lord face to face, every valley, dark moment, kneading, stretching and trial I have faced here on earth will all be worth it.
Take courage when you face difficult times – it might be the Lord kneading you into the image of His Son. May you be strengthened in your faith and stand strong till you see the Lord face to face.