About 2600 years ago, God taught the prophet Jeremiah what it meant to be a sovereign God. He taught that His plan WOULD be fulfilled - one way or the other. Either His children would submit to His gentle guidance, or He would bring discipline to teach them the need for obedience.
Although God has the ability to directly give us understanding, His usual method is to teach us through His Word and then allow us to see the application and gain wisdom through our experiences. In order to give a clear understanding of His sovereignty, God told Jeremiah to go to the potter's house and wait for His 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: '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.'"
Jeremiah understood that God was the Potter and had total control over the shape of the clay. How foolish it would be for the clay to complain or rebel; "Can the pot say of the potter, 'He knows nothing'?" (Isaiah 29:16). The Potter will continue to mold the clay. If the clay begins to harden in its unfinished state, the Potter loves the clay enough to crush it down, sprinkle it with water and begin anew.
The only way for us to become all that God desires is to yield and remain moldable. We have no ability to shape ourselves! The Potter is creating something eternally beautiful - we are being "conformed to the likeness of His Son" (Romans 8:29). Oh, if we could only trust that His shaping is so much better than anything we could ever create. How prideful to think we can do better!
There may be times when we have rough edges which must be removed. There may also be times when we need to be crushed down so the shaping process can start over. But we must trust the Potter and believe the results will be worth any pain or discomfort; "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
Our Heavenly Father is in complete (and loving) control. Let's daily be filled with His Spirit and commit our lives to His shaping process - a process which undoubtedly will last a lifetime! Let's remain moldable clay and yield to the shaping of the Potter's Hand.