The point being that, our living is not in vain, nor the troubles we face and come through with honor, or as the case may be dishonor. In his fabulous book, In The Master’s Hands, Understanding the Parable of The Potter and The Clay, Phillip Keller wrote the most insightful and utterly beautiful explanation of the illustration I have ever read. You really should save your cigarette money and buy the book.
I noted to the Saints and others, that God did not start making his plans concerning any of us yesterday. I was using the founding of Antioch some 301 years prior to its mention in the New Testament and the cities perfect mix as a springboard for the spreading of true faith throughout the known world. Three hundred years before God set in motion events that guaranteed all things working together for the saints in that city. So in our lives, He is pulling the strings or working the moist clay on the wheel of His purpose.
Some years ago I was deeply moved when I became aware of something that had been before my eyes all along. In the making of a vessel on the Potter’s Wheel you have the wheel, the clay, the Potter who knows what he/she is forming. As the potter works one hand is inside the clay and the other gently and firmly applying the pressure to mold the clay into the desired shape. The hand on the inside keeps the clay from exploding under the pressure from the hand operating outside.
In our day we understand that we are but clay or as David put it, dust. Christ, in us via the Spirit, holds us together as we spin about on the wheel of life, and God’s outside, forming hand shapes us. Sometimes the “outside hand of God” is trouble. In Old Testament times it was often the army of a nation, a plague, the loss of loved ones and property, (Job). The list could go on ad infinitum. As this illustration is on target, we must stop complaining about our particular circumstance and accept the pressures of life as the hand of God causing all things to work together for His purpose in creating us in Jesus Christ. I find it is more than interesting that in the biblical accounts the potter does not throw the clay away. He breaks it and then reshapes it toward His purpose.
It’s perfectly alright to pray for “this cup to pass” but to grasp that the “cup” we are asking to be excused from may be the “cup” for which we have been being shaped. The prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is the text. “Not my will, but Thine be done,” must be the mantra of the clay held together by the Spirit.
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Copyright © 2015 Larry Lilly
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