By: Naomi Noel Trevino
While I was reflecting on the past year, there was one audacious resolution that took precedence for the New Year. It was a sincere prayer from my heart, “God mold me and shape me into who you want me to be.” What is so bold about this prayer is the depth and the meaning behind it.
In the Bible there is a passage of scripture that describes a beautiful analogy where God is the Potter and we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8). It is an analogy of what takes places in our lives. All pottery begins as simple clay. In order for clay to be used in pottery making, it must first be prepared. Clay is prepared with methods such as kneading to smooth out the clay body. The greater the plasticity of the clay, the easier it is for the potter to work with. In this state, the clay is most vulnerable and can be easily deformed when handled.
In our own lives, that are moments and sometimes seasons when we feel vulnerable because of things that have happens to us, hard times, disappointments, grief, and loss that can leave us fragile and hurt. For most people, being broken is the worst state to be in. But for clay, being in a fragile state allows the potter to do their greatest work.
Only after preparation, is the clay ready to be shaped into whatever form the potter needs it to be. Once the clay is shaped, it is ready for the most crucial step in the process; firing. In the firing process, the clay is put in a kiln, which is a massive oven with high temperatures. Firing produces irrevocable changes to the body of the clay. But without the firing process, the clay will never become pottery.
What is so profound still about the firing process is that the atmosphere in the kiln affects the appearance and the outcome of the clay body. The atmosphere must be right. In our prayers when we are asking God to help us through hard times or asking him to show us our next steps, have we done our part? Have we created an atmosphere to receive what God has in store? For me, if my spirit and my heart are full of doubt and bitterness when times are hard, then I will not be able to fully become what I was shaped to be when I come through the fire. I will come out broken down. That is not God’s best. But we have a choice. Just like all clay reacts differently in the firing process, how we react to fire in our lives determines the outcome of the situation.
The final stage of pottery making is the artistic part. The pottery is decorated, painted, fine tuned and glazed. Most people when they see pottery, they are only seeing the finished product. Most people can appreciate the beauty of pottery when it is done but not everyone would be willing to go through the long process of making pottery. When pottery is glazed, that is still not the last step. Pottery often goes through one last firing process called glazed firing. Glaze firing ensures that the pottery will continue to undergo chemical changes into what it truly needs to be.
The prayer I started with audacious, because it is raw faith. It is a total surrender to God’s will and His plan. It is throwing my life on the Potter’s wheel. It is humbling myself to the shaping of His hands. I want to be like clay that undergoes permanent and irrevocable changes to the appearance of my heart and countenance. The process may be messy. There may be times when I do not understand. But I rest in knowing that the one who spoke the worlds into existence, the one who threw the stars across the sky, and the one who painted the heavens, has more than capable hands. “Indeed, I have inscribed a picture of you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16 (AMP)
Naomi Noel Trevino is a published writer who loves to encourage people. Keep updated on her future projects through Instagram: @naomi.noel and Twitter: @naomi_noel_. Inquiries can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.