I am there standing with my children looking at this skilful potter while he cuts a lump of clay already prepared ahead and puts it on the potters wheel! His hands gently pressing start to shape this ugly lump into something shapely and acceptable to the eye! I can't help but notice that the potter never takes his eyes from the bronze dirt.
He studies and touches it while the warmth of his hands softens the hard material and take off what is unnecessary! His thumb makes a hole in the centre so that the sides of the material will grow! He removes the rough edges levels the thick sides and shapes it to the vessel he desires. Then the vessels, in our case a beautiful pot waits to dry ...
Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand,....... Jeremiah 18:6 ESV
I wanted to paint that pot and take it home that day, but I could not. The pot had to stay there to dry otherwise it would crack and be thrown away!
Whether we like it or not when God gets hold of us and we feel a bit like that piece of clay. We become aware of the 'discomfort' as He shapes and smooths us, then like a burglar without notice comes a time of silence!
At those times nothing 'important' happens. We don't feel God, we don't hear His voice, we feel vague and useless. We want to do something but somehow we end up at the same spot- or so it seems!
Although we like to 'do', to move on during this time I have come to understand that as part of the process I just have to be there. It's hard for someone like me to not have to do things, but I am learning.
I have come to understand that those silent years are as important and valuable as the active years. Even when we feel like we are gathering dust on the shelf I know that the potter will come at the right time to take me to the next process! Whether that process is inside the fire or giving me another coat of strength the silent years will be the proof of my character growth and endurance. I must leave Him to finish what He started with me, He must weave the colours that He desires in me!
A bit like those ancient pots that the archaeologists find and write parts of history based on, I long that when we are found history will declare God's marvellous workmanship!