Monday, October 15, 2012
We took our families from On Wings on retreat in September and our topic was the Potter and the Clay. The first night Patti Sheets came to teach us by taking a piece of clay and molding it into whatever shape we chose. It was a great way to begin our weekend together. She will fire our vessels and get them back as a reminder to us of how the Potter forms us into His useable vessel. Thank goodness the eye of the potter sees beyond the shapeless lump of clay to the finished product. Never having made any pottery it was unclear to each of us just how our vessel would shape up. Some had to reinforce their piece where it was weak. Some were given the choice to completely start over. Some added adornment and sayings on theirs to make it their own creation.
I thought of how Elohim takes us in our unformed state and molds us and makes us just like He desires. We are all unique, with our own flare of color and design. I hope He has as much fun creating us as we had that night gathered around the kitchen table, oblivious to the outside world.
One of my favorite parts of the book, Worthy Vessels by Nell Kennedy, is the story about the beginning of the process of firing. Ladies of olden days would make their baskets from the reeds in the field and then go out to pick berries. The trouble came when they would lose the berries through the holes in the basket. So one day they decided that they would line the basket with the clay of the ground and let it dry. This provided a container that had no holes in it.
One day the women were in the fields collecting the berries when a fierce fire started in the field. The ladies gathered their babies and ran, leaving the baskets there. Upon return they discovered that the basket had been burned away and had left a beautiful vessel that was now able to contain liquids. The berries inside the basket had left a beautiful color as it was fired that day. Thus became the beginning of the kiln in which the vessel is placed for firing today. The Potter knew just how much fire each individual pot could stand. He would place the pot in just the right place, sometimes even within a vessel that was more sturdy and could with stand the fire. He was always there watching the temperature so that the pot could be of use when it came out.
That my friend is what He does with us. We may have to walk through the fire but He is right there with us each step of the process. He knows just what me need. Why then do we hesitate to trust Him when He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Thank Him for the fires. It is through them that He transforms us from weak, changeable people into strong, useful vessels.