A few miles north of Waco on the east banks of the Brazos River sits the Homestead Heritage, an agrarian community committed to preserving 19th century craftsmanship. The community has shops where visitors can observe “artistry-in-action” complete with a pottery barn, blacksmith forge, grist mill and a carpentry shop. George W. and Laura Bush commissioned the Homestead to construct and furnish their house at the Crawford Ranch.
We recently took our grandchildren from Wyoming to the Homestead. When we were at the pottery shop, I marveled at the talent of the people who worked there. The artists applied water and shaped the clay spinning on the potter’s wheel in front of them.
With nimble fingers and just the right amount of pressure, they brought the clay to life and shaped it into the form they desired.
Pottery is an ancient art. For thousands of years, the trade was passed down from generation to generation in cultures around the world. Communities developed around clay deposits in India, China and the Middle East. Archeologists continue to excavate pottery from the earliest sites of civilization.
Jeremiah must have marveled, as I did, the time he was a potter’s house in ancient Jerusalem. When he watched the clay spin upon the wheel, he saw the potter’s ability to change the shape of the clay in an instant.
He sensed God speaking to him:
“Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.” (Jeremiah 18:6)
Isaiah made a similar observation:
“Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay?
“That what is made would say to its maker, ‘He did not make me;’ or what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding?’ ” (Isaiah 29:16)
God has made each of us unique. We are, each and every one of us, special in his sight. He never abandons us or gives up on us. Like the clay, we continue to be molded in his hands.
With every pressure, whether success or failure, joy or sorrow. God is fashioning us for his purposes so that we can reflect his glory, bless others and be filled with joy. He wants us to love ourselves and one another just the way he made us.
This is what Paul meant when he said:
“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
All things work together for good when we realize the Master Potter is shaping us for his purposes on the earth.
He says, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
Waco-area resident Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.