Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Formed in His Hands, Part 2 by @emilylaney

“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'?” Isaiah 45:9

This is the pot I told you about in my last post. I formed this little guy on the wheel, and I am so proud of this little 4 inch tall creation.
A couple weeks ago I told you all about the pottery class I took. I shared about how each piece had to be centered perfectly and grounded in the foundation of the wheel. I reflected on how each piece had to be the right width and how even when a piece was marred or collapsed, I, as the potter, was able to mold it into something new again. There were multiple times I was reminded about God as the master potter in my own life as I took this journey with my own little pots. I’d like to continue that conversation today with another lesson I learned in my pottery class.


Oh yes, that dreaded word. I learned a good bit about patience as I worked on my little pots. First of all, when I got in a hurry on the wheel, it was more likely that my pot would get too thin or off centered. I had to be patient to slowly shape and mold the clay, step by step. It reminded me of how during the molding and shaping process of my own life, things may seem slow, but God has a purpose in each period of waiting, and in each season where things just don’t seem to be moving along. The potter has to shape the clay slowly. I mentioned that I am by no means a master potter, or even all that good on the wheel. But there were other artists in the studio who were incredible potters. One day, I watched a woman painstakingly work on one single, beautiful pot for an hour. I thought for sure that she was already done when she started, but there were many small details she wanted to add that I couldn’t even see. So she slowly and patiently worked on this gorgeous piece of pottery. Each movement, each turn of the wheel was purposeful and intentional. And each moment in our lives that seems slow or unsure is God continuing to mold us. His process is perfect, and he is forming us.

Another component of the pottery process that took a lot of patience was the finishing and firing period. After completing the first step of creating my pots, I had to wait until they were almost dry and then I ‘finished’ them on the bottom to smooth the rough spots and edges. Then, I had to wait for them to dry completely before they went into the kiln to be refined. The pots have to be fired twice in order to be complete. And if the pot is not completely ready for the kiln and is completely dry, it’ll explode in the kiln and will be ruined (and it may take some other pots out with it!). As I waited for days for my pots to dry, I remembered how God knows when we are ready, both in the grand journey of life, but also in the small seasons of waiting. I found myself appreciating the seasons of refining in my life.

The picture attached to this blog post is of the little pot from my first post. But now this little pot is finished. It’s been through the kiln once, then glazed, then fired again. I cherish this little pot. It may not seem like much to others, but I created it, and I’m so proud of it. And like I cherish my little creation, God cherishes us a million times more. He wants what’s best for us, and he is patiently molding us into his image. I pray that I can allow God, the master potter, to mold me into a woman after His own heart. I pray that I’ll allow Him to mold me and that I won’t question His plan and His purpose in this process. And I’m praying that for you too my sisters. We are beautiful creations of our Maker, formed in His hands, created to do amazing works for His glory. 

This is my little pot all finished, just out of the kiln for the last time. I love this finished product, it's more beautiful than I thought it would be. It's not perfect, even the glaze is a little faded at the top, but I love it.

Emily Laney is a social worker, educator, and justice seeker. She has worked with vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad and loves to help startup nonprofits reach their goals.  She is a Passion City Church door holder and leads a team of abolitionists at Not for Sale Georgia. She loves her husband Brent and their rescue pup Biscuit. Sunsets and Sushi make her happy.

You can connect with Emily on twitter @emilylaney or on her blog

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