How wonderful it is to visit an artist's studio and to observe as he works, concentrating and fully absorbed in his craft while he creates a thing of beauty from nothing. Before the artist begins, he envisions the masterpiece at its completed perfection. At every stage in the creation of his work, he stops to admire the progress, and his enthusiastic joy overflows into his work. The process of making and creating is at times very painful and frustrating as the artist strives for excellence in his work. But he does not give up. He continues to make and remake until he finds joyful satisfaction in the finished work.
God our Father is the potter and I, his child, am the lump of clay. I am being made into a vessel that will not only be useful, but will also reflect the image of my creator and bring honor and acclaim to his name.
Yes, the imperfections, the cracks, and the bubbles must be pressured out by the loving hands of my creator, and sometimes, if the dryness of the clay demands, the lump must be kneaded and pounded to make it more pliable in his hands. It is not an easy place, to be broken and crushed. It is painful and seems so utterly unbearable.
It is tempting to blame God and to ask why he is allowing a particular trial or to question why he made me like I am. If I resist his work in my life and rebel, there will be a delay in the process of his work in me. Real relief will only come as I yield to the loving hands of the potter as he makes and molds me more and more into his image, an image that will bring honor and praise to him.
I am often tempted to resist the trials that come my way, because they seem undesirable and too difficult to bear, but when I remember that I am but a lump of clay in the hands of the greatest artist, I experience joy in submitting to whatever he brings my way.
"Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:6-7)
- 12 JULY -