On a recent trip overseas, my wife and I were so delighted to find an exquisite teacup on sale at a thrift shop. We were attracted by the intricate designs and motifs on the teacup. A teacup is an item of beauty that has undergone an elaborate process to transform it from a lump of clay to something of purpose and value. The prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 64:8:
“O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
This was a reminder to Judah that God was not done with her yet, but was constantly at work, shaping and moulding the nation. God is our Potter, shaping our lives from worthless clay into vessels of beauty and value.
A potter starts out with a design in mind. He applies the necessary pressure on the clay as it spins on the potter’s wheel. Likewise, God has a unique plan for each one of us, and He places us under different circumstances to shape and form us. This process may be painful and messy, but His loving hands assure us that He knows what is best for us.
The next step involves firing the vessel in a kiln at very high temperature. Without this firing, the clay vessel will break easily and crack under pressure. God allows us to go through fiery trials in life so that our faith is strengthened and our character refined through affliction. Trials are not meant to break us, but to make us stronger.
In the final step, the earthly potter paints on the vessel intricate motifs and designs so that the finished product is not only useful, but it also has value and beauty. In the same way, our Heavenly Potter deposits His glory in our lives so that we become priceless. Paul writes:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
God is constantly at work, transforming us from insignificant clay into a repository of His glory. What was once worthless, now has infinite value, fulfilling God’s purpose and destiny. May you discover God’s purpose and destiny for your life as you display His glory.
Lam Kok Hiang
Photograph by Daryl Marquardt