Last fall while on vacation in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, my wife and I visited a theme park. Among the rides and attractions, we ventured past a pottery makers shop. The entire process of making pottery was on display and if you chose to invest the time, you could watch the process from a formless lump of clay to a beautiful vessel.
Being familiar with the Scriptures, I thought of Jeremiah 18, where God sends Jeremiah the prophet to a potter's house as an object lesson. Once there, Jeremiah saw the potter making something at the wheel. As he watched, God spoke to him, relating the lesson He wanted Jeremiah to learn.
Reflect with me on that scene. First that was a Place where Jeremiah needed to be in order to hear what God wanted him to know. Being in the right place is essential in our hearing from God. Many fail to hear God's direction because they are not in the place to hear Him. God speaks to us through His Word, but if we are do not read it, or if we do not attend a Bible preaching church, we will not be in the proper place for us to hear what God has to say and we will not know His will for our lives. I have found that when I do not know God's will, I tend to get in the way of what He wants to do in my life. If you are not in that place where you need to be, get there ASAP.
The second thought I have is that there was a Process the clay must go through to become the vessel desired by the Potter. It was the Potter's design and would require a 'hands-on' process which would require a certain amount of pressure from the hands of the Potter. As the Potter applies the appropriate pressure, the clay begins to respond. It remains pliable as the Potter keeps his hands wet with water. So the Lord molds and makes us in the process of His interaction in our lives...we are kept pliable and yielded in HIs hands through the application of the water of His word.
This process often reveals Problems in the clay, impurities and things that hinder the Potter's design...things that must be removed. Sin in our lives has a negative effect in God's purpose. Sometimes, the problems are debilitating; but the Potter does not cast the clay aside, rather, He removes the obstruction and re-purposes the clay. He makes 'another vessel as seems good to the potter to make".
The Picture here is that what the Potter is able to do with the clay, so God is able to do with our lives and through the pressures of life, He begins the shaping and molding process. When marred by sin, or when He finds resistance, He removes the impediment and remolds the clay, reshaping our lives into useful vessels, fit for His use.
Adelaide Pollard was a forty-five year old Bible teacher who tried to raise funds for a missionary trip to Africa. Ill health caused her to abandon this plan. Attending a prayer meeting, she heard an elderly woman pray, "But its all right, Lord. It does not matter what you bring into our lives, just have Your own way with us." Later that evening, Adelaide wrote this hymn with great peace in her heart as she meditated on Jeremiah 18: 1-6. "Have Thine Own Way Lord" is certainly worth a few moments of your time today.