“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But 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. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…’”
God is the potter. We’re the clay. So are our children. He’s molding us – and them. As He molds us, we get to participate with Him in molding them.
Have you ever watched a potter? As he begins to create something, we begin to imagine, even predict what we think he’s shaping. His hands continually work the clay. He may remove a handle or transform a vase into a bowl. He might flatten his work and start over. But, it remains in his hands, and he handles it delicately, even tenderly. His eyes are fixed on the clay as though he has vision for it. Until he’s finished, we can at best watch.
I love the thought that God is always holding me! Too often I don’t take the time to receive this – He’s holding me. And as He does, He shapes me “as seem(s) best to him”. Sometimes it’s painful (I can be willful). Other times I discover the theme of my shaping through a circumstance or season that I’m walking through with a child.
This past school year, Cecilia and I went through a season where we butted heads a lot. It was exhausting and frustrating for both of us. One day I shared my exasperation with Terrell. He sighed, smiled and said, “Well, yeah, she’s just like you!” As soon as he said it, I knew he was right. This realization was humbling, but at least I discovered how to move forward.
I needed to be willing for the Lord to do some shaping in my character, and then see how He wants me to participate with Him in shaping the similar trait in Cecilia’s character.
The shaping part isn’t easy, but the relational blessings are worth it!