Cooking in clay vessels has been in practice from around 29000-25000 BC. This technique is even used today in many parts of the world. It’s cheap and efficient way of cooking as food won’t get burned at the bottom as the metal vessels and the availability of the clay which gives a significant advantage but it’s easily breakable nature and takes more time to heat up make it slight disadvantage over the metal utensils.
Have you ever thought about the challenges involved in making a clay pot? It’s not an easy task as you may think. The process begins from finding clay. Finding clay is a tedious task. Clay is usually found in swaps. The soft mud which been in contact with water for a long time changes the structure of mud and changes it to clay. It is soft and sticky and dark in colour. This clay cannot be used directly to make utensils therefore it needs to undergo a transformation.
The potter mixes this clay with water and he steps on to the mud and starts to mix it by applying pressure on it kneading and churning the soft clay with water. This is another tedious process as it takes a lot of time and energy to transform the mud to proper clay. After for about 2 hours of churning and kneading the clay begins to become more tight and sticky. Now the clay is ready to be worked on.
The potter gets some of this clay and places on his wheel. Now the real artistic work begins. The potter slowly spins the wheel and using his hands the potter shapes the non formed clay to a desired shape in his mind. At times the clay may fail to form the shape in potters mind but the potter never gives up but work on the clay more and forms out into a beautiful vessel in his mind. Once the shape is formed he sands the inside and outside of the vessel so no protruding edges are formed.
Now he almost made a good vessel out of the clay. But things doesn’t end there as this form can easily deformed by improper handling. So he takes off the vessel and keep it in sun until the water gets dried off. Before it’s fully dried the potter attaches the handle to the vessel. Then dries it again under sun. Then he keeps the vessel in a kiln and bake it at high temperatures of 1000 to 1400 degree celsius depending on the clay and form of vessel. The vessel changes it’s colour as the molecular structure of clay changes it’s formation. Once the vessels are cooled down he carefully removes them from the kiln. Now the potter glazes the vessels and he applies decoration as needed and a beautiful clay vessel is formed out from once the soft mud found in swamp.
It took a lot of pain and effort behind the making a clay pot from clay. We are one one clay pots under God’s hands. He found us in the depths of sins like the mud found in the swamp. As the porter brought the mud to his us to his work place God brought us to His presence by giving Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Like the once dirty useless mud was converted into useful clay Jesus took of all our sins and transformed us to something useful to God.
It is true we have to undergo tremendous pressures and pains in our lives but just submit ourselves in the hands of that good potter as he is transforming us from useless mud to useful clay. Once we have changed into clay God starts working on us as the potter works on the wheel and at times we cry like those vessels what is happening to me? I was resting under water and this potter reached me and took me out from there and after lots of kneading and churning he changed my nature now he’s turning me on a wheel and my heads spinning why is it all? but remember the potter is framing a beautiful vessel out of you. Because of our nature we may at times fail from forming what the potter wants us to become but the good potter doesn’t leave us saying you are of no use but he builds and works more on us and he transforms us into a beautiful vessel in his mind.
Again things don’t end there but to make us strong, able and efficient God may pass us through certain tests in life like the vessels went through the kiln. In this stage even though it’s painful like the impurities in the clay gets burned off and change all the nature of clay to pot our impurities in life gets burned off and we change our nature and become a strong useful vessel to God. Therefore let’s not get worried and upset in life as God is working on you and He is right beside you. Unlike the potter he never let’s us in kiln alone and watch from outside but God comes along with us into the furnace of tests and be with us, guide us and help us to overcome all the troubles and will help us to become a wonderful vessel for the glory of His name. Therefore let’s surrender ourselves under his mighty hands as apostle Peter said-“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6, 7 NIV). Let’s be extremely cautious as if the vessel falls down it will break into pieces and cannot be put together likewise be humble in our lives. When God uses us for certain things for the glory of His name let’s not get proud ourselves thinking it’s because “I or me” things happened as pride comes before fall. Remember it’s his grace why we are still here.
One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— (Romans 9:19-23 NIV)
Therefore let’s be humble and surrender in God’s mighty hands and live according to the wish and purpose of God and never be broken. God Bless You!
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. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. Jeremiah 18:1-6 NIV)
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people. (Isaiah 64:8, 9 NIV)