In the Potter’s Hands


Working with clay has taught potter Ben Behunin some powerful lessons about growth, repentance, and the importance of placing ourselves …

“O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isa. 64:8).

All of us at times feel common, or useless, or unattractive. Learn something from simple clay. In its natural state, clay is common and far from beautiful. But in the hands of a master potter, it takes on a pleasing personality, becoming a thing both of usefulness and unique beauty.

But before clay can be made beautiful and useful, it must be centered on the potter’s wheel. As the wheel spins, the potter molds, shapes, and lifts the clay into the desired form. If the clay is not centered, it cannot be shaped properly. Eventually, natural forces fling it from the wheel. Our lives are like that.

We must become centered on Christ—and remain centered on Him. Only then can our Father in Heaven shape and mold our lives to His grand design for us.

Sometimes flaws appear in the clay and repairs must be made. It may be necessary to go back, to remold and reshape. The wonderful thing is, when properly repaired, the flaw is completely gone, as though it had never existed.

When we sin, we introduce flaws and defects. They may not be outwardly visible at first, but they weaken us just the same. And if they are not properly repaired, they can lead to our ultimate ruin. Fortunately, if we are humble and pliable as clay in the Potter’s hands, repentance will make us completely whole.

Clay that has been shaped and molded may become beautiful. And as it dries, it becomes harder. But it never achieves its full potential until it has been through the fire. In the great heat of the potter’s kiln, the clay is transformed.

Hidden flaws that were not repaired reveal themselves at this time, and the piece breaks or crumbles.

But a vessel that has integrity comes from the fire stronger and more beautiful than ever. In life, too, we pass through fiery trials that test our faith and integrity. Then if we have remained centered on Christ, and if through true repentance we have let Him make us whole and sound, taking from us our flaws and mistakes, we come forth from the fire as beautiful, useful vessels in His hands.

[photos] Photography by Craig Dimond