A couple of weeks ago in church we sang the song “Have Thine Own Way” and I was struck by the first verse:
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
I couldn’t help but remember that times that I have made pottery in the past, and it hit me that when we sing this song to God we are talking to him about some fluffy little arts-and-crafts time. Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln to induce reactions that lead to permanent changes, including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape (thanks wikipedia). To tell God that we are waiting, yielded and still for Him to mold us into the kind of pottery he would like us to be is dangerous talk…
Isaiah 64:8 (NIV):
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah says that God forms us with his very own hand. I’m imagining God pinching with his fingers and thumbs, cutting away parts that are unnecessary, rolling me up, applying pressure, and (gasp!) firing me at extreme temperatures to set me and make what he created irreversible.
When we come to God, ready to live our lives for him he needs to make changes within us so that we can be functional for him. In my own experience it sometimes feels a bit like a nice massage and other times there is a lot of force or cutting away. Either way, it is worth it so that I can be what he needs to me to be.