We live in a microwave society; but God uses slow cookers.

I’ve been told it takes 12 years to become a good potter. I’ve been at it for 8 years, part time. Be it 12 years or 8, pottery is something that I will always be learning to do. Taking a lump of clay and making it into a mug, a sculpture or even a vase is exciting. The best part is I get to decorate it. I feel I have only touched the tip of the iceberg in pottery. Learning to make pottery is a slow cooker process.  I will always be tweaking and improving my pottery.
God works like this in our lives.  “I am the potter and you are the clay.” Isaiah 64:8.
The first thing I do when starting a clay project is to take the clay and wedge it, which is similar to kneading bread. This aligns the molecules causing the clay to become smooth.

God some times has to pound at our lives to align us to Him and to mold our self will into His will, smoothing out our rough spots. 
Imagine my shock if my clay said to me, ‘make me into the most exquisite vase, not a plain mug’. That would be absurd to think this would happen, but how often do we do this with God, the one who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves?
After I have created bowls, cups, vases, dishes, animals, any thing I like, I place the piece a self under plastic, which allows it to dry slowing, preventing it from cracking. During the drying time, about 2 weeks, I will take a peak at the pottery to see it progress.
In my life with God there have been many times when I feel God has ignored me. Have I been set up on the shelf to dry off slowing after he has worked on me? God has not ignored me, but is checking up on my progress, anxiously waiting for the drying time to end.
When the clay is bone dry, no moisture left in it, I place it in a kiln and fire it to about 1800 degrees F. It takes several hours to fire the clay, then a few days for the clay to cool down before I can take the bisque ware out of the kiln. Now I can give it color and make it unique by painting on glazes and or decorations. Back into the kiln it goes, but up to 2195 degrees. At the end of the day the kiln has finished, but again I have to wait a few days before I can see what the pottery looks like. If I take it out too early, before it has cooled down the shock of the cool air will cause the glaze to crack. It is all in the timing of the clay and I can’t rush it. God knows he can’t rush us or we might crack too.
Sometimes I will put a luster finish of gold, or pearl and it will need another firing in the kiln. Most pottery is only in the kiln twice, but the fancier it is the more times it is fired.  Often the brightest finishes are some of the last to be applied. In some of the high gloss glazes I can see my reflection.  
I see each kiln firing as God’s refining fires of tribulation. The more he works on us, and the more heat we endure, the more our lives can shine his glory. People will be able to see the reflection of Jesus our creator in us. It takes patience to do pottery. God takes time and has abundant patience with us, which I am thankful for.  
When we allow God to work on us our true personality comes out into the light.

Clay can be made into almost anything. There is such a wide variety of finishes and uses of pottery; earthenware to matte finishes to high gloss and several in between.  With hand built pottery no two pieces are exactly a like.
Our beauty of whom God created us to be is unique. No one is the same.
My pray is that each and everyone find out who God has created you to be. May your life reflect the glory of God so we become the kingdom of God’s on earth. Let God be the potter and just be the clay.  

Comments (12)

On October 10, 2011 at 8:33 AM , (Ri)Charmed said...

I'm glad God is the ultimate potter and ALL that He makes are masterpieces!

On October 10, 2011 at 9:15 AM , Cherry's Creations said...

Amazing devotional, thanks for sharing!!!

On October 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Thanks Joyce. This scripture has so much more meaning when a real potter explains it!

On October 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM , Sheila said...

Lovely way to relate to the way God works in our lives. Thank you.

On October 10, 2011 at 1:47 PM , Rita (aka sammysgrammy) said...

I just commented today (to God) about how long it took to see any spiritual progress. I'm always thinking that it can't possibly take Him as long as it has taken Him to iron out some of the wrinkles in me, to work on the kinks in others. But He does seem to have forever to do things. I need some patience and I need it right now............

On October 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM , Butler Pottery said...

Thank you the comments. I neglected to give credit to the pottery shown so I've done an oops blog today.

On October 10, 2011 at 5:27 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

I am 65 and always changing, hopefully for the better. Thank you so much for this beautiful post.


On October 10, 2011 at 6:19 PM , Anonymous said...

Thank you Joyce Butler for including my bowl in the story that you wrote. And yes indeed, God is the only Master Potter and only through my obedience to His spiritual prompting can the clay of my soul be molded accoring to His purpose for me.
Richard Martin
'Trusting in God'

On October 11, 2011 at 8:44 AM , Tisha said...

I'm thankful God is in control and He is not finished with me yet.

On October 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM , amanda said...

This is an awesome and timely message!! I needed it too...thinking about how long of a wait I still have...but remembering that God has not forgotten abt me.

On October 12, 2011 at 11:38 PM , pfd said...

This is a great analogy and brings out how God has created and used different phases in our lives. Thank you for such a meaningful post!

On October 16, 2011 at 7:04 AM , Silkartist said...

That is a wonderful message and explanation of making a pot as in relationship to God and His creation, us. My pastor asked me to write a description on making pottery, as she knew I had the background. What a joy for me to explain the process and relate it to us, God's clay. When thinking about all this clay making, I added to the end result: even when a totally finished pot gets broken, one can take the pieces and make a different kind of art by mosaic technique! Relate that to how God can always take us and rearrange our lives to be beautiful and reflect Him.