I think that it is easy at times to look at a finished piece of pottery and forget about the process that went into it for it to turn out into a beautiful piece of work. In Isaiah 64:8 it says, “Yet LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the potter; we are the work of your hands.”
I spoke with a friend of mine and asked her what the process is in order to make a piece of pottery. She said that to make a piece of pottery, there are several steps, and each step is important in the process, because if you miss one of the steps, your piece of work will not be complete. And while some of the steps are quick to do, there are steps that can take time, energy, pressure, and heat (more so to the clay than to the person who is working with the clay). The first step is to weigh out the piece of clay (or you could eyeball it instead). Then you wedge the clay. This is where you knead the clay in order to get the air out. Then you can shape it into the piece of pottery that you want it to be (this can be done more than once). You would then dry the piece of pottery, followed by trimming up any of the sharp edges before you would place your pottery into a kiln. When your pottery is in a kiln, fire is around the piece of pottery, getting rid of water and things that are not supposed to be in the piece of pottery. Once the kiln process is done, it can take a while for the pottery to cool down. When the piece of pottery is cooled down, you then glaze to add color to the pottery. It is then placed back into the kiln for another firing (or more than one firing in the kiln), and then cooled down. After all of that, you have a beautiful piece of pottery.
I then started thinking about how this verse found in Isaiah applies to our life. We are all somewhere in the process of being turned into a beautiful piece of pottery. I think that sometimes we get frustrated in the process, or we get discouraged because we see people around us at a different stage of the pottery process. Sometimes, we want to skip a step, but if we were to skip a step in the process of making a piece of pottery, it would not turn out into something beautiful, or what the artist intended for the piece of pottery. Other times, we want to rush the timing of the step that we are in, but that also can be just as problematic and results in the pottery not turning out into what the artist intended for it.
In all of this, we as lumps of clay need to trust the work of the potter as well as trust the process that we are going through. Trusting the hands of the Creator to turn us into the beautiful piece of art that He has envisioned for our lives.