Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-4
Verse 4: “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.”
In this week’s passage from Jeremiah, God sends him to the potter’s house. Here Jeremiah received new understanding and a sharper vision. He goes and finds the potter working at the wheel. The wheel turns, making it easier to shape and form the clay. Whatever appeared to be taking shape was not as the potter envisioned. So we read, “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.”
One advantage of clay is that it is malleable. Therefore it can be reshaped and reworked over and over again. Standing there watching, Jeremiah realized that the clay represented humanity – himself on a small scale and Israel on the larger scale. You and I are clay too. Unfortunately, we are not always malleable. We don’t always like to be reshapen and reworked.
Jeremiah understood that God was trying to reshape and rework Israel. Their worship of false gods and their pursuit of wealth and power had marred what God had envisioned for Israel. In the same way, when we turn selfish and allow the voices of the world to lead us away from God, we too become marred. Like the potter who is patient with the clay, working it, reshaping it, so too is God patient with us. Life is the spinning wheel that God uses to try and shape us, define us, rework us. But unlike the clay in the potter’s hands, we have the ability to decide, the power to choose whether or not we’ll allow God to touch us, to shape and form us into what God envisions for our lives. How malleable will you be?
Prayer: God, shape me and mold me. Work and gently form me into who and what you want me to be. Help me to surrender those parts of me that mar your plans for me. Amen.