Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NIV)
18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 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.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.
In this passage, God is teaching us about His relationship with His children. He says that He will deal with us the way a potter works with clay and that we, like the clay, are in His hands.
God deals with believers in two ways. First, He is molding every one of us into the image of His Son, Jesus. Second, He is shaping us for a specific purpose, one that is individually designed so we will help build His kingdom.
Our part as the clay is to submit ourselves to His purpose. As the Potter, He may subtract something from our lives similar to removing lumps from clay. Another possibility is that He may speed up the pace until we feel as if we’re spinning. Or, desiring a new shape for His “vessels,” He might dramatically rework our pattern of living in order to start us in a new direction.
If you are anything like me, you might not like change very well. We get comfortable in our lifestyle and existence and any major changes to that are scary and can be really uncomfortable. What we have to keep in mind is that God wants what is best for us and He is taking us to a much better place, even though we may not see that at the time. The short-term can be difficult to endure, but once we come out on the other side, the place that we should have been all along, we see how much better it is and soon forget about our old life from before.
Our responsibility is to accept any changes from the Master Potter. We can do this confidently because we are in God’s hands. Scripture describes God’s hands as:
- Creative hands whose skillful work is displayed in nature.
- Hands filled with righteousness.
- Hands that give life and take it away.
- Mighty and powerful hands that rescued Israel from Egypt and us from slavery to sin.
- Hands that protect us.
- Hands that were pierced so we might be made new.
When we think about being clay in the Potter’s hands and the ways God deals with us, we can relax. “In His hands” is exactly the place that we want to be.