But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. II Corinthians 4:7


Have you ever wondered why, in spite of trying so hard and being so sincere, we still sometimes don’t accomplish or don’t succeed as perfectly as we’d like? This passage from II Corinthians sheds light on exactly that dilemma. Paul says that the treasure of the Holy Spirit within us is housed in an earthen pot. It is temporal, breakable, and worth very little. It’s what’s inside that has all the value.


God led the prophet Jeremiah to visit the potter’s house and gave him a message. Jeremiah observed the potter as he worked the clay spinning on the wheel. But the pot that he was shaping was spoiled in his hands, and so he had to smash the clay together and begin all over until the vessel took on the image that he intended (Jer. 18:1-4). The potter had complete control over the pattern as well as the process. God asked Jeremiah if he couldn’t do the same thing with his people.


It’s helpful to remember that we are God’s workmanship. We are not the designer. We do not do the molding. We do not determine how we will be used. We are clay with the simple assignment of being still and lying quietly on the wheel as God fashions us. He doesn’t ask our advice, and he doesn’t need our permission. When his work is done, we will be perfect in his sight, and he will fill us with himself to be used for his purpose.


Let us simply be still, trusting God’s good work in us. He knows what he is about.


Have thine own way, Lord
Have thine own way
Thou art the potter
I am the clay.

Mold me and make me
After thy will
While I am waiting
Yielded and still.
(Adelaide A. Pollard)


Father, that shaping process can sometimes be painful. Help us as we trust your good wisdom and your love as you mold us. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.