“Do you want a diamond ring for our anniversary or a potter’s wheel?” When we married money was tight and a diamond ring wasn’t something we could afford. And truth be told, I greatly admired my mother’s simple wedding ring. I just wanted one like hers – no frills, nothing fancy, just a gold band that symbolized an unbroken relationship and that I belonged to my man. “A potter’s wheel, of course!” was my reply. In college I had taken three semesters of pottery intending to some day open my own studio. I loved the mash of wet clay between my fingers, the spinning sandy clay revolving through my hands and the constant anticipation of creating something new. Yes, a potter’s wheel it was.
The imagery from the book of Jeremiah 18 of a potter and a wheel resonates with me. “But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: O Israel, can I not do to you as the potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in my hand.”
Sometimes in life we can just get the feeling of being crushed. We may not see it coming. We, like a lump of clay, are spinning around and being formed up into something, or so we think, and blam – the potter smacks us down and starts over. How do we respond?
The next statement in Jeremiah is key…”so you are in my hand.” It is a good thing to be in the Lord’s hand, even when He allows things that initially hurt us or throw us off base. His intentions for us are always good in the long run. We can be certain of this truth. The same God that allowed Jesus to die on the cross so that all who believe would be saved is the same God that can be trusted with our life circumstances.
From the viewpoint of the clay, we don’t always understand. But all is well. God sometimes allows change for His great purposes that only the potter knows.