Look at Jeremiah 18.1-6:
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…’”
God is the Potter, and we are the clay. If you have children, they are clay in God’s hands, too. As He molds us, we get to participate with Him as He molds them.
Have you ever watched a potter? As he begins to create, we imagine or predict what we think he’s shaping. His hands continually work the clay. He may remove a handle or transform a vase into a bowl. He might flatten his work and start over. But, it remains in his hands, and he handles it delicately, even tenderly. His eyes are fixed on the clay that he has vision for.
I love the thought that God is always holding me. And as He does, He shapes me “as seem(s) best to him.” Sometimes it’s painful (I can be willful). Other times I discover the theme of my shaping through a circumstance or season that I’m walking through.
This past school year, Cecilia and I went through a season where we butted heads a lot. It was exhausting and frustrating for both of us. One day I shared my exasperation with Terrell. He sighed, smiled, and said, “Well, yeah, she’s just like you!” As soon as he said it, I knew he was right. This realization was humbling, but at least I now knew how to move forward.
I needed to be willing to yield to God to shape in character, and then see how He wants me to participate with Him in shaping Cecilia’s character.
The shaping part isn’t easy, but the relational blessings are worth it!