The wheel hummed, a shapeless lump of clay spinning in the middle. The potter sat in front of it, his hands cupped around it gently. He confidently applied just the right amount of pressure—controlling the thickness and height. To my untrained eyes, it was perfect. But the potter saw more potential. He shook his head slightly, flattened the clay and started again.
The prophet Jeremiah found himself at the potter’s shop when God told him, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does? Like clay in the potter’s hand, so you are in my hand” (Jeremiah 18:6).
I’ve felt the hands of God as He shapes my life. At times, it feels comforting and safe. Other times I’d rather be left alone, unwilling to address my sin and disobedience. When events unfold in a way I didn’t expect, I wonder if He can really be trusted.
But even when things go terribly wrong, hope never fades. God doesn’t roll His eyes or sigh in frustration. He keeps on loving. He’s incredibly patient, like the potter, who knows rushing the process will only make it wonky. God never gives up and never quits believing the best for me—and for you.
Later, in Jeremiah 31:33, the Lord says, “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
When the guilt and shame of your actions, your past, and your struggles come back to haunt you, you may be tempted to feel like a failure. Don’t believe that lie. There is a plan and a purpose for your life. How do I know? Between the verses about the potter and the new covenant, there are these words: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11-13).
God looks at you with delight. He doesn’t see a useless lump of clay, instead, He sees His creation, with a purpose to bring beauty to this world. It’s never too late to start again.