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You are the Potter, I am the Clay

clay on potter's wheel

If you have seen a potter working on the clay, then these verses will come alive for you. They did for me as I observed the shaping process of the clay.

But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand. 

Isaiah 64:8
Clay in the Potter’s hands

Our boys are learning pottery in their Pathfinder Club

Under the hand of a talented artist, they are learning the basics of taking a lump of clay and molding it, shaping it, until they have made something useful out of it.

Molding clay vessel

To form the clay

I’m noticing that the process of molding clay is not intuitive in everyone. To make a nice vase or bowl takes the right touch, just enough pressure in certain areas, and some slack in other parts. We’ve seen quite a few caved in pieces of artwork where the walls collapsed. They were just not strong enough to support the weight of the whole vessel.

Then, some pieces appeared beautiful, but after drying for a week, we found cracks. These vessels would not be strong enough to endure the heat of firing. The tiny cracks would separate further with the intense heat, and the whole piece would be useless.

Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so areye in mine hand, O house of Israel.                                 

Jeremiah 18:1-6
Samples of clay bowls

Broken pieces

The kids reacted with surprise and a bit of dismay, coupled with excitement in some, as the instructor told them to take their cracked bowls and smash them to tiny bits. Once smashed, they added them back into their wet clay, and mixed the bits in. This done, they now had created a much stronger mixture, which would withstand much more pressure.

Do you see the lesson here?

We truly are the clay in the Potter’s hands. We often get cracks and mars as we go through the experiences of life. God sees these, and rather than leaving us to certain breakage and ruin, He steps in to redeem us. To us, the process is painful sometimes. All we can see is our life goals smashing to bits before our eyes, and it hurts. Right?

Clay figures


God sees what we can become. We can choose to stay in His hands. As He picks up the broken pieces and creates something new from our lives, many will stand back and marvel at what He has made.

We can’t take any credit.

We would not have chosen the pain. Ignorantly, we may have even chosen to stay just like we were, comfortable with our cracks that most people could not see.God knows more.He is a wise artist, and He understands that we are but dust. No matter. Patiently, He forms, molds, turns, and smooths us. He knows what pressure we can withstand.

Trust Him.

Clay bowl off of Potter’s wheel

Clay in the Potter’s Hands

He will not abandon the work of His hands. But, unlike the clay, people can choose not to cooperate with God. We can choose our own path, and many times we do. Our cracks can be good enough for us.On the other hand, we can choose to yield to the Expert.

Let’s be moldable clay in God’s hands.

For more about hands-on skills in your home, you may also be interested in reading this article.

Pinching and molding clay

To read more about what you have to do to earn your Pottery Honor for Pathfinders, see this page.

The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

Lamentations 4:2

What thoughts do you have as you play in the clay, or get your hands into other projects?

Let me know in the comments below!


7 Replies

  1. What an awesome lesson! Thanks so much for sharing at the Exploring World Religions Linkup 19 so that we can better understand each other through our religion, faith, or beliefs. Pinned.

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️