Once the potter has completed the preparation work which we discussed in our previous blogpost, the lump of clay is now ready to be formed into a useful and beautiful vessel. In pottery terms the process of forming a vessel on the wheel is referred to as throwing, such as in throwing a bowl or throwing a cup. The lump of clay must be precisely centered on the wheel as a crucial first step in order for the vessel to maintain structural integrity. If this is not done, the vessel becomes a wobbly, lopsided mess and must be smushed, re-wedged and re-thrown. Once centered on the wheel, potters use a variety of techniques and tools to form the shape of the vessel. By applying gentle pressure from one hand inside the vessel and the other applying pressure on the outside, a technique known as pinching, the vessel begins to take shape. The vessel cannot take shape unless it is subjected to this pressure.
How often in our walk with the Lord do we sense His gentle, firm hands? When we walk through hard times and difficult situations, isn’t it comforting to know that the Master’s powerful hands surround us, support us, keep us centered in His will?
As the soft clay succumbs to the Master’s hands, something beautiful happens. The clay and the master are now working together. The clay does not know what the Potter envisions but its role is simply to yield. In spiritual terms we are to trust the Master potter. He knows both our potential and our limitations just as an experienced potter knows the composition and capabilities of the clay. Our Father loves us too much to leave us the way we are. We need to trust Him to change us. If we yield to his will, He will transform us ever more into the likeness of His Son.