“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” –Jeremiah 1:5
Before a potter sits at his wheel with a lump of clay, he has an idea and an image. He knows exactly what he wants to create: what it is to look like, what it is to become and what its purpose is to be. He spins the wheel and begins to handle the clay. Using his hands, he stretches the clay, pushes it upward to make it tall and presses the center to hollow it out. The potter knows precisely how much pressure to apply and just when to apply it to create the shape he wants. If the clay doesn’t become what the potter wants, he is able to push all the clay inward as it spins and it once again becomes just a lump of clay. Then, he begins to create again.
No one can tell the potter how to handle the clay or how to create what only he sees in his mind. The clay cannot take on its own form or purpose. Only the potter can create. Only the potter knows when his masterpiece is complete. The more the potter works on the clay, the more the clay transforms and becomes what the potter intended it to be.
“So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.” (Jeremiah 18:3)
Similar to the lump of clay on the potter’s wheel, we were created with a plan and purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ ” says the Lord. “ ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ ” God knew each and every one of us before He formed us in our mother’s womb. He had a vision for us and put in our DNA everything we would need to achieve all that He was creating us to be.
The lump of clay on the potter’s wheel is subject to many outside influences that effect the way it looks and its purpose. We too are influenced by many outside factors that can cause us to take on a form differing from what our Creator intended for us. We experience things in our lives that can change us from all we are to become: disappointments, choices, acquaintances, friends, trials, family situations, successes, failures and the list goes on. All of these influences have the power to impact our lives and our final outcome.
When the clay doesn’t turn out the way the potter intended, it is given another chance. It is broken down and recreated. The potter doesn’t throw away or discard the piece he was working on just because it did not turn out the way he intended. And God does not give up on us when we do not turn out the way He hoped. We too, are given another chance. He graciously and mercifully breaks us down and lovingly remolds us and transforms us into all He intended for us to be. In Him we are new creatures.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
What is influencing you and keeping you from becoming all God intended for you to be? Will you sit upon the potter’s wheel to be remolded into something new?