Giving Our Lives Into the Potter’s Hands

“So I went down to the potter’s house,
and there he was, working away at the wheel.

But the jar that he was making from the clay
became flawed in the potter’s hand,

so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.
The word of the LORD came to me: ‘House of Israel,
can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?’ —
this is the LORD’s declaration.
‘Just like clay in the potter’s hand,

so are you in My hand, house of Israel.'”
Jeremiah 18:3-6

“A good thing is never made in a hurry,” said Great Woman in Lois Lenski’s Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison as she instructed impatient Corn Tassel how a slower, more loving process leads to a more beautiful, valuable, and sturdy pot.

I identify with Corn Tassel’s impatience of the process. I can be a petulant child when it comes to God’s forming me and molding me to be more like Him. I long and pray to be made more like Jesus, but I want it to be immediate. I don’t like the life-long, painful process.

Certainly He can do it in a moment, but His slower, more loving process is better as He gradually increases Himself in us and decreases our self-centeredness.

We can be so rigid with our way and our plans for our lives. As our Potter works to make us pliable enough to shape to His will, we rebel and cry out, “No! No! No! Not that way. That curve needs to be straightened. That section doesn’t need to be shaved off. I will yet burst from the pain!”

“You have turned things around,
as if the potter were the same as the clay.
How can what is made say about its maker,
“He didn’t make me”?
How can what is formed
say about the one who formed it,
‘He doesn’t understand what he’s doing’?”
Isaiah 29:16

I continually kick against the Potter’s way and don’t trust that I’m in the best hands I can be in. He knows perfectly what He is doing and He knows best how to shape me into a vessel that will hold and pour out His glory. Oh, how glad I am that He is so infinitely patient with me!

There are so many processes in life that never benefit us by trying to hurry them along. We want immediate fixes and visual evidences of a positive result. We want God to instantly answer our prayers and grant us our desires, but we don’t realize that His refusal or waiting does us more good than immediate affirmation. Many of the things we ask for, either for ourselves or others, aren’t even good for us or them.

It’s so hard not to fight against the process God uses to mold us or our loved ones, isn’t it? To trust in His all-knowing, skillful hands? To trust His process and timing to make us more beautiful, valuable, and usable vessels of His glory?

“Thank You, O Precious Potter, for counting us worth creating and molding, for caring for us so lovingly and freely with Your full attention on each and every one of us. Make us willing in Your hands and help us to trust You with the process of bringing us closer to You. Sometimes we can hurt so much, but help us to trust that any pain allowed in our lives serves to mold us to be more like You. To love, nurture, and understand others more like You do. So many are wounded and weary, Lord, but all power belongs to You. Remember each wounded spirit. Touch us with Your grace. Heal the deep layers of pain in each of us. Fill us with Your Spirit so that all will see that You are living in us! Make us pliable in Your All-knowing, Almighty hands and form us into vessels of Your grace and glory. Thank You, Jesus, for sacrificing Your life for us! Thank You for Your all-sufficient grace and complete forgiveness and unconditional love!”

“To me, the form and shape of my life look irreparable.
To the Potter?
He sees an opportunity to show off His best work.
All of it is redeemable.
The impossible and imperfect, the broken and beat up.
Nothing is wasted in His expert hands
as He remakes us into something beautiful.”

Michele Cushatt (I Am Book)

“The Potter’s Hand”
by Hillsong


28 thoughts on “Giving Our Lives Into the Potter’s Hands

  1. Oh Trudy! I love how the Lord speaks to us. This song was only just playing in my head, but I couldn’t remember all the words and I was thinking how my teacher as a little girl, a nun, drew a picture of a large hand and wrote a poem about me being in God’s hand as part of my goodbye gift when our missionary family left Germany to return to New Zealand. This was only a few years before I became a Prodigal.

    And then your post puts it all together. It feels like God’s embrace after a tiring weekend of the accuser’s taunts for being so open and honest in Monday’s blog post. Confirmation that what I wrote is His heart for His people- that we come as we are and let HIM do the shaping. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement.

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    1. Oh Anna, I’m so glad this was like God’s embrace to you. I think when the more open and honest we are, the more the accuser rages. I love the special send-off the nun gave you. What a beautiful blessing! May we keep encouraging each other we are in God’s hand, to let HIM do the shaping in our lives, and to give Him all the honor!

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      1. So true, Trudy. I should have prepared for that to happen. Lesson learnt. Next time I’ll have Scriptures handy and won’t go talk to others first, but seek out the quiet to listen to God’s Voice.

        She was one special teacher, who even attended our farewell at our very Pentecostal church- probably getting in trouble for it too. This poem and hand was part of a book she had the class put together. I was looking for it today, but think it may have gotten lost in one of the many moves I have gone through since leaving home. I visited her in my twenties in Germany- it was so special to see her again.

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        1. I’m sorry you lost the hand and poem, Anna. It’s a God-thing that He brought it up from your memory bank though. 🙂 That’s neat that you got to see her again years later. May we both “seek out the quiet to listen to God’s Voice!”

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  2. Dear Trudy,
    Lois Lenski was one of my favorite authors as a child! I read every one of her books that our small school library held. But they did not have this one that you quoted from, so now I have a new one to look forward to! And, how well I identify with that impatience. I hear myself echoing those words from the Scriptures, and once again find His mercy calling me back to the shaping and molding process, whenever I try to stop His working. Thank you for your beautiful prayer, and loving encouragement! Hugs and Love to you my friend!

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    1. I’m grateful you felt wrapped in love and encouragement, Bettie. It has been some years since I read that book, but I so identified with Corn Tassel’s impatience of the process. God is so patient with us, isn’t He? Again and again His mercy calls us back to the wisdom and love with which He molds us. Hugs and love to you, too! May we daily give ourselves into our Potter’s hands and trust He knows best!

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  3. It is easy to question why God’s work has to take so long sometimes. I know I often just want to hurry things along, but it is important to remember that he is the potter and we can trust him to know what is best for us. I love the song and the prayer!

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    1. Thank you, Lesley. I’m glad you enjoyed the song and prayer. Yes, it’s so easy to question God and His work to mold us more into His image. May we daily put our lives into the hands of our Potter and trust He knows best, even if it hurts!

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  4. It’s so easy to shout, “No!”, instead of being content to wait and be shaped by our Father’s loving hands. There are so many things I haven’t understood when what I wanted (or thought I did) did not align with His will, but I have learned through all of these times that Father knows best. May we all submit to being pliable in His capable hands.
    Blessings, Trudy!

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    1. Yes, our Father knows best. It’s hard to come to that point, isn’t it? And so many times I slip back into what I think would be best for me. Such a daily, lifelong process. I am so amazed at the limitless patience and grace of our loving Potter! Blessings to you, too, Martha! Yes, may we submit to being pliable in His capable hands!

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    1. Me, too, Lisa. 😦 I need the reminder often. God’s bottomless patience with us is amazing, isn’t it? By the way, I love the patience you had with Anna. Not only Julie handled the situation well, but you did, too. 🙂 May we take deep breaths, let go, and let God do His transforming in us at His own pace and in His own way, however much it hurts!

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  5. I hadn’t heard of the book you mentioned but, yes, such wise words. I heard just today that it is proven when we spend 10x longer or work twice as hard, our results are proven to 100x better. I heard from my mother and others (and sometimes as a teen would inwardly roll my eyes) that taking that extra time to do something right is wise and worth it, instead of hurrying! Maybe we could see God that way too? Working hard always, and taking the time to create our best. There’s actually a lot of comfort in that!

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    1. It’s actually an older book meant for kids age 8-11, but I found it as an adult and was intrigued by the story. The message Great Woman gave has stuck with me, though I’m often forgetful. What you heard is so true, Lynn. Thank you for sharing that. Yes, there is comfort in that! 🙂 It reminds me of carpenters I’ve seen doing their work. One was quick but not so precise while the other one was careful and detailed. It may have taken him longer, but the end product was more sturdy and nicer-looking. May we not hurry the process of our Potter but be pliable and patient in His hands!

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  6. Trudy, your words touched a nerve in me, as I thought about how resistant and impatient I have often been while God has been doing an inner work in me. Moulding and excavation are painful processes, aren’t they? But not as soul destroying as staying as we are, with no growth toward developing holiness and greater Christ-likeness. Thank you for your honesty, encouragement and beautiful prayer. They really hit the spot for me, after some seriously trying weeks when I wanted a bit of wriggle room on the Potter’s wheel! Love and hugs. xo 😊💜

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    1. Oh yes, Joy, it truly is a painful process. I’m with you on wanting wriggle room on the Potter’s wheel. How true though that staying as we are is soul destroying. I’m so grateful you were encouraged here. Love and hugs to you, too! May we surrender our lives to the Potter and become more and more pliable and transformed in His hands, even when it hurts so much!

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  7. Awww, friend. SUCH good words. This? Yes, I resonate with it….

    I continually kick against the Potter’s way and don’t trust that I’m in the best hands I can be in. He knows perfectly what He is doing and He knows best how to shape me into a vessel that will hold and pour out His glory. Oh, how glad I am that He is so infinitely patient with me!

    I get so impatient at times. In the mothering process. The writing process. The friending process. I just want everything to be DONE. 😉 But God . . . He knows the timing of everything. He knows the things I must learn in order to be the best mother, writer, friend (and everything else He wants me to be). So, if I am patient and yielded to Him, I will be able to be conformed to the image of Jesus more quickly. I will be better able to work through the challenges that will shape me into the person God has envisioned me to be.

    Okay, so maybe I’ve rambled a bit. I loved your post, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You didn’t ramble, Jeanne. 🙂 I love every word, and I identify. I’m glad you were encouraged. Thank you for bringing up the truth that when we are patient and yielded to Him, we will conform to His image more quickly. How true it is that our resistance only slows the process even more. May we daily yield our hearts to our Potter and trust His process!

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  8. Dear Trudy … as soon as I read your title, I thought of the song. To find it there on You Tube at the end was such a grace.

    It’s a daily thing, this yielding into His care, keeping, His hands, shaping and molding us … and those we love.

    Weekend joys to you, dear …

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    1. So true, Linda. A daily yielding into His care not only ourselves, but also those we love. Weekend joy to you, too! Even though the process can be painful, may we daily surrender ourselves and our loved ones into our all-wise and patient Potter’s hands!

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  9. Your words go along so well with my post about becoming enough. I also am not patient with the process, but if we want God to work in and through us, he will in his timing. I love your choice of the words from Isaiah about the potter. The visual is perfect and reminds me to trust that God will create a beautiful masterpiece every time.

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    1. Yes, Mary, this really does go along with your post about being enough. God’s bottomless patience with us is so amazing. If things went according to our plan and timing, it wouldn’t be a beautiful masterpiece, would it? May we daily surrender our lives into our Potter’s hands and trust His plan and timing!

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  10. Hi Trudy! That last quote from Michele Cushatt really hit me, especially after reading your beautiful prayer. Timing is always a mystery, and I agree with you that it seems like God’s timing is often too slow. Why can’t I have what I need now?
    Of course, he knows what’s best, and learning patience and trust will be my lifelong goal I think. Go ahead and squash me if I need it Lord. What comes up after that will be so much better.
    Sunday blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Thank you, Ceil. That quote really grabbed me, too, when I read her book. Learning and patience is a lifetime goal for me as well. I love how you say, “Go ahead and squash me if I need it Lord.” Such a hard thing to agree to sometimes, but like you say, “what comes up after that will be so much better.” Amen! May we patiently allow our Potter to twist us in whatever way He chooses, trusting He knows best and we will be better for it!

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  11. Trudy, this post took me back (in a good way) to our years of infertility and waiting for Lilly when the song “The Potter’s Hand” held so much meaning for me. So much good stuff here … isn’t it comforting to know our Potter is also our Heavenly Father who loves us and has purpose for every bit of shaping He does? I hope you have a restful weekend, my friend!

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    1. That must surely have been a painful shaping time, Lois. It’s those difficult times that make us more like Jesus, isn’t it? Yes, it truly is comforting that our Potter is also our Heavenly Father who loves us so much and has such a special purpose for His shaping. May we surrender our all and give ourselves into His hands, trusting that He knows best!

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