A potter works the clay, watering it, molding it, and shaping it as fast as it will be shaped. Clay has a will of its own, but it cannot shape itself.
Once the potter has shaped and re-shaped the clay beyond what the clay is capable of, the clay will quit, no longer able to hold any form. Once the clay quits, it must be reconstituted—first dried and ground into powder, then hydrated with water and prepared once again for the wheel.
God is the Great Potter who sits at the wheel of Earth, spinning us in His hands. It was no coincidence that the artistic poet, God the Potter, made Man from the dust of the ground. Just like clay, we have a will that wrestles with our Potter’s Hands. When we don’t sit how God wants, he tears us down. If we fight Him too much, He grinds us into powder before hydrating us with water.
All of God’s work with humanity—collectively just as much as with each individual—molds and shapes us into a beautiful masterpiece. We do become grand and glorious over time—not due to any effort of our own, but only our effort to cooperate with the guiding hands of our Potter.
As we grow, study, learn, sharpen, exercise, strengthen, mature, and improve ourselves, God’s guidance oversees everything. If God cares which continent we live on, we will be on the continent of His choosing. If God decides that He will make you fall in love with music, you will be forever smitten, but it’s up to you to practice and pursue excellence. The same holds for every career and skill.
Throughout the Bible, God shapes people through their circumstances. Consider Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, David, Daniel, Esther, Jesus’s disciples, and the Apostles.
When he became prime minister, Winston Churchill said that all his, “past life had been but a preparation for this hour…” He had indeed been prepared by God the Potter, just as you have been prepared—and are still being prepared—to become whatever vessel God wants you for. Your role is to cooperate with the Great Potter’s Hands while they do the shaping.