A few months ago, I invited my friend to join me for a pottery class. Our teacher encouraged us to gently nudge the pedal to get the wheel spinning. With wet hands, we learned to center and cone the clay. The process of forming clay on the wheel was longer and harder than it looks. The trick was to keep adding water to keep the clay supple. We pressed, pulled, and pinched until that ball of clay eventually became a bowl or vase. 

A few times, the teacher came over, stuck her hands in front of me, and started to work with my clay. At first, I wanted to take control of the clay myself. I wanted to learn by doing it myself. But soon I realized the value in surrendering to her expertise. In fact, I learned a lot from watching my teacher and her techniques. 

In the pottery studio, I also learned that pushing on the pedal to speed up the wheel does not actually make the work go faster. I had to be slow, deliberate, and intentional if I wanted to make a beautiful bowl. 

It turns out in pottery-making, as in life, you have to trust the process. It’s rare that someone would sit down at a pottery wheel and make something perfect on the first try. Oftentimes the clay needs to be reworked, reshaped, and reimagined. 

Our lives are like that too. God the Potter can do whatever He wants with us, the clay. He can push out our inconsistencies, transform our too-jagged edges, and smooth us to symmetry. It might feel uncomfortable or too long in the waiting, but we are not to resist His design work. We are to submit to His molding and making, and behold His creative process embodied in us. 

After the class, our teacher fired our creations in the kiln. The bowl I made sits on my bathroom counter now, holding some of my favorite jewelry pieces. It’s a sweet reminder that God is the Potter, and we are but dust mixed with water in His heart-shaped hands. 

We are the clay, and You are the Potter. We all are formed by Your hand. ISAIAH 64:8 NLT 

Where are you finding God’s strength today? 

This is an excerpt from 100 Days of Strength in Any Struggle from (in)courage a devotional now available on DaySpring.com. Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.