It’s always humbling to think you know something and then realize that you really don’t. This week I revisited the story of the potter and the clay in Jeremiah 18. I thought it was where God declared, I am the potter and you are the clay, as a way to illustrate our relationship to Him. It turns out this isn’t where that verse originated. There are actually several verses in the Bible that refer to God as the potter and us as the clay. The story in Jeremiah taught me a different lesson – the lesson of pursuing your purpose daily.
The Potter and His Craft
Jeremiah 18 actually says, “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal my words to you.’ So, I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done?’ declares the Lord. ‘Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.’” Jeremiah 18:1-6 (ESV)
God sent Jeremiah to the potter’s house for an object lesson before he spoke His word of warning to Israel. And as I was reading, I realized that this is the story of God, Jeremiah, Israel, and the potter.
Just imagine, you’re hanging out at your house working, and the prophet of the Lord comes to your door to watch you throw a pot. What do you do?
Practice Your Craft
You do what you were called to do. He didn’t do it perfectly, that’s not how the creative process works. The potter created a flawed jar. We do our best, with the experience we have, and we create something too. Maybe what we make doesn’t look how we wanted it to look, or there’s something structural that’s wrong with it. Any number of things could make it flawed. So, like the potter, we take the clay, and we reuse it. We draw upon our experience, and create something new.
The potter practiced his craft and it was who he was, as much as what he did. But as he lived the ordinary life of a potter, something extraordinary happened. God used his experience, and who he was, to visually communicate a message to Jeremiah, and through him to Israel.
Pursue Your Purpose
I’m not a professional potter, but I am a creative jack of all trades who self-describes as an artist. I feel like it is important to God’s plan for my life that I learn, develop, and have experiences that make me a better artist. I believe that if we pursue the passion God has placed in us, then we are pursuing who God designed us to be – we’re pursuing our purpose. And really, we’re pursuing God. So, take some time this week to develop the gift of creativity that He gave you. Be crafty, make art, hand letter something cool, or just watch a quick YouTube video on something you’d like to know. If you allowed yourself just 10 minutes a day to dream or doodle, you’d be actively pursuing your purpose daily.
And someday, like He used the potter, God may tap who you are and your creative experience, and use it for His kingdom purposes. What will you choose to do to grow your creative gift? How are you pursuing your purpose daily?
Leave a comment and grab a gift!
I’d love to know, so please leave a comment below! If you’d like it, I have the art above in a pdf form so you can print it out on your home printer. I also made a coloring sheet of the image for the fun of it. Feel free to download either from my Creative Resource Library, which incidentally has a ton of other cool files, printables, cut files, templates, and more.