But now, O LORD, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 (NASB)
My thoughts keep drifting back to pottery. Especially the Potter, how much effort it takes for the potter to mold the clay. His purpose is to bring beauty from a blob of dull, lifeless clay.
Sitting at the wheel, trying to somehow keep my hands attached to each other as I worked the clay, my arms ached. My muscles unused to the work before me.
I think of the effort God must put forth to mold us. He has this vision of who He created us to be, yet just as I work through layers and layers when painting, He has to work through layers upon layers as He molds us. He never loses His patience with us, though, and His strength never wanes as He works the clay.
The molding takes strength. Painting has taught me that it is the layers that bring out the beauty and vision, but I have never needed more strength to apply paint to brush and brush to canvas. My thoughts stop in awe as I consider the power it takes to gently and patiently work the clay into something of beauty.
The instructor tells us to keep hands attached at the thumbs. So our hands always work together when molding. The potter moves hands around to shape the clay, but if one hand detaches from the other, the clay more easily works its way from center. Both hands grasping around the clay and while one may move to form a certain way, they are continually connected, almost as if protecting the clay and the vision the potter is trying to bring forth.
And isn’t that just what God does? We can not see His ways or what He is forming, but while one hand may be molding, it is always attached to the other in protection, hemming us in, keeping his hand upon us so we do not lose our center.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. – Psalm 139:5 (NIV)