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We are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we are all the work of Thy hand. — Isa 64:8
The potter’s craft is almost the oldest in the world, and its method has hardly differed through the ages. Jeremiah as well as Isaiah refers to it (Jer 18:1-4). While the prophet was standing watching the potter, he saw him take a piece of moistened clay from the lump that lay beside him, and placing it on the wheel, he began to shape it after a design which was in his thought. As it approached completion, the clay collapsed under his hands, some part falling on the ground, and some on the wheel itself. To Jeremiah’s surprise, the potter did not sweep the recalcitrant fragments away, but gathered them up, and made them again into another vessel. This is what God does still.
The Master-workman is our Father. “But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father.” Some who read these words have themselves been parents. They have tasted the ecstasy of parentage, as the child has been laid for the first time in their arms. At that moment a new passion has arisen in the heart, and new resolves have compelled the soul. To shield, defend, educate, help, love, and teach to love—all this is included in that first embrace. The compulsion of the child’s helplessness is a supreme motive to father or mother. Prayers are offered that find an echo in the heart of God, from whom they sprang.
Has God put these sentiments in human hearts, and has He not their original and pattern in Himself? For a moment do not think of yourself as a child, but of God as your Father. Your spirit has come forth from the Father of Spirits. You were called into existence by His word. You carry in your nature some thought or conception to which He desired to give expression. Is He not conscious therefore, of responsibility to perfect that which concerns you? Of course you may thwart Him, as the clay was marred in the hand of the potter. You may take your journey into a far country and waste the precious formative years in selfish indulgence. But if you will let the Great Father work out His full purpose in your training, your unfolding, and your prayer-life specially, you will find with Isaiah, that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard such an One as our God, who worketh for him that waiteth for Him.
O God, our Father, may we never doubt Thy enduring mercy. May we not be frightened by the noise of the wheels in Thy great workshop. Enable us to believe that Thou art weaving the fair fabric of our life on the loom of daily circumstance. We beseech Thee to perfect that which concerneth us. Amen.