This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”
– Jeremiah 18:1-6
As I fumble for that One Word to ring in year 2014, no long list of resolutions could compete to the essence of One Word. One Word that captures the whole motion of how I respond, receive, reverse, reach, renew, return, remain, recalibrate, resonate and relocate in this New Year.
It capsulates the actions and the lack of.
It capsulates to whom I belong.
It capsulates where I stand; my standing still on the turning wheel.
It capsulates the denial of my carved-out plan in order to receive the long awaited one He has for me.
The clay I am is not the one who starts the wheel, the potter He is is the one who sets the wheel in motion.
The clay I am is in need of His living water, to make me moist and soft.
The clay I am is to stay moldable.
The clay I am is to remain in the potter’s hands.
The clay I am, afar from Him, is simply a clump of clay. Dried up. Useless.
Waiting for the turning wheel to start and move the clay in circular motion.
Waiting for the potter’s hands to uprise me from within.
Waiting for the tip of the fork to give me pattern to show His design and splendor.
To be useful, the CLAY has to be moldable; and once made into a vessel, it has to remain in the hand of the potter to be used.
CLAY that is not moldable is not useful. The clay has to be responsive to the potter so the potter can make any vessel of his choosing. Then the clay vessel has to remain in the potter’s hand.
When the potter has finished making the vessel of his choosing, that vessel has no ability to do anything whatsoever.
It now has to remain in the potter’s hand. Suppose the potter molds the CLAY into a cup. The cup has to remain in the potter’s hands so the potter can use that cup in any way he chooses.
– “Experiencing God”, Henry Blackaby
Yes, this is the bare minimum condition, “the potter can use that cup in any way he chooses.” It’s up to the potter to decide what that vessel is.
The potter decides when the vessel jumps at the cliff when jumping is the One Word that calls for action.
The potter decides when the vessel leaps into the dark when only into darkness, His light shines brighter. In fact, the vessel may even glow.
I am the clay in His grand scheme of redemption.
I am the clay when the clay prays for His will be done. His answer is “It is finished.”
I am the clay when the clay cries for the hurting. He cups those tears and molds them back into the clump. The clay continues to stay soft and not hardened.
I am the clay when the clay prays with a faith like a child. One brilliant writer, Rachel Pieh Jones wrote how one should pray, “to pray for something He knows I desire with annoying consistency and fervor.”
I am the clay as the clay (and I quote again) “believes the answer is already purchased, that I have only to wait for the proper time. To trust the character of the One I am asking. And when the answer arrives, to turn it into praise.”
To turn the sound of the harmonica into praises to the potter.