In the hands of a merciful Potter…

When I consider God’s character (if my mind can even rightly think of it), I am most of all amazed by his sovereignty.  Psalm 135:6 says Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. In Isaiah 43:13, we read the following: Also henceforth, I am he, there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can turn it back? These verses are just a couple among numerous instances in Scriptures where God spoke of his sovereignty or someone else acknowledged it. Job clearly did when he said I know that you can do all things and no purpose of yours can be thwarted (Job 42:2).  

The fact that I find this truth about God amazing doesn’t necessarily mean I live each day in joyful submission to his rule and authority. Such rebelliousness rears its ugly head in a variety of ways, most of which have to do with my desire to control people and events around me. I’m not referring to responsible stewardship of what God has entrusted. Stewardship acknowledges that God is the rightful owner of everything we have. Control is something else though. Control is a heart issue that is very close to idolatry because at the core of it is a belief that we can assume that position which only belongs to God.

The potter and clay metaphor illustrates God’s rule and authority over what He has made.  This imagery is mentioned more than once in Scriptures. Isaiah 45:9 says Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘what are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’. Similarly, we read in Romans 9 But who are you O man to answer back to God?Will what is molded say to its molder ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump, one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (verses 20-21). 

clay pots
Photo taken in Cartagena Spain. Jars of clay in the Roman ruins.

Time and again, I still misplace my trust in human ability. Like a piece of clay, I foolishly challenge my potter. I thank the Lord for being that merciful Potter who does not give up on the clay. He constantly shows his forgiveness, grace and love, sometimes by breaking us in order to mold us again, according to his will, not ours. His sovereignty is not disconnected from his abundant love, his great mercy, his infinite power, and everything else that he is. His sovereignty assures me that the God who saved me will also sanctify me. His sovereignty humbles me in that no human effort on my part can change what he has already willed in his perfect wisdom. Lastly, his sovereignty grants me the freedom to love and pursue him passionately and to take risks for his kingdom, believing that everything rests upon hands that are way bigger than mine.  The sovereignty of God is my absolute security.

“No revolving world, no shining of star, no storm, no creature moves, no actions of men, no errands of angels, no deeds of devil—nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.” Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)


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Christian wife, mom and mom-in-law. Physician. Professor. Serves in small groups discipleship. Travels for food, art, and history.

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