What Does the Clay Have to Say?

(Blog post by Stan Kellner – www.stankellner.com)

 Read Isaiah 45:9-10 and Isaiah 64:8

I remember when we were kids we could spend hours (literally) building entire towns out of clay – clay houses, clay people, clay animals.  Did you know that some clay animals can actually fly? (Of course with a little help from my friend who would throw it at me!)

We’d spend hours molding and remolding, shaping and reshaping.  Our imaginations would run wild with what we could create, what adventure we could have on any given day.  Someone might ask me along the way – “What is that you’re making?”  I’d be proud to give an answer like, “It’s a half-man, half-bug flying thingy!”  “Don’t you recognize it?”

Clay.  Clay in the hands of a molder.  Clay being molded by the molder with the molder having their plan in mind.  Not once did I ever hear my half-man, half-bug thingy say to me, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?  What do you think you’re making?  Don’t you realize how embarrassing this makes me look?”

I know I’m taking a childhood pastime and attempting to stretch it (pardon the pun) way beyond its logical boundaries.  But, I gotta tell ya – there have been more times than I can count where I’ve questioned what God is doing in my life.  Like I know the whole story?  Like I know the best path?  Uh, excuse me?  Did I make God?  Or did He make me?

I’m thankful for passages like Isaiah 45 and 64 which come in the midst of a long discussion about God’s dealing with His people.  The point is clearly made that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.  Consequently, He knows the best way, the best path, the best amount of pruning, the best level of testing, etc., etc.

Even as I write this I am walking on a part of my journey that I don’t like very much.  I recently experienced an unexpected job loss and deep in my heart I’ve been wrestling with my Potter at times.  How could you…?  Why would you…?  What are you teaching me through…?  Couldn’t you have…?

ALL honest and fair questions.  And, by the way, God wants us to be real with Him.  He is not offended that we ask.  He doesn’t send us to detention for asking.  If anything, He uses these reshaping times to help us, no to help me, understand that even if I don’t understand it right now, He has my best in mind.  By faith, I recognize that He knows how He wants to mold me.  

Some years ago we saw a guy who was travelling around the U.S. telling the story of the Potter and His clay and all the while, he was actually molding a pot on the potter’s wheel.  Perhaps you saw his performance as well.

Fascinating how at times he pressed here or pressed there or threw some water on the clay to help reshape or slowed down or sped up the wheel.  All of these “twists and turns” are for the good of the pot.  And since the potter knows what he wants this pot to look like, he is the best judge for just how many twists and turns the pot experiences.

Painful but true.  Can we commiserate together?

  • Don’t you feel sometimes like – “God we’ve already been over this.  Why teach this to me again?”
  • I’ve asked the question, “Couldn’t there be another way?”
  • In my recent job loss, the key question arose, “Is there anything I could have done different?”
  • The bottom-line is clear – HE is the potter; WE are the clay.  Even though I can hate my circumstances sometimes, Deut. 32:4 reminds me, “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just…”

We have a choice to make –

His way or the clay’s way!

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