9/28 Jeremiah 18:6

6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

The Lord sent Jeremiah to watch a potter at work. The vessel the potter was working on was spoiled, so he made another vessel with the clay. I've done a little work with a potter's wheel. To prepare the clay you have to beat and work it until you get all the air out of the clay. Then you throw it down hard on the wheel and begin to spin and shape it. Sometimes, as the sides of the vessel grow taller, it can either get too thin or out-of-round, and then it starts wobbling. The potter must start again by pounding that clay back into a lump.

This is what Jeremiah observed. The LORD told Jeremiah that Israel was like that clay the potter was working. God intended for the nation to be a light to the world and set it at the crossroads of the nations (Ezekiel 5:5). Instead, it began to wobble and became like the other nations. It was time to take that clay off the wheel (the Promised Land) and pound it into a lump (the trials of captivity) to prepare to reshape it.

This happens to nations, but it also happens to individual lives. When we get too spiritually thin or wobbly, God allows things to come into our lives to turn us back to Him. He is more concerned about our eternal good than our temporal happiness. When we hit the bottom we look up. The pounding may not be over and may go on longer then we'd like, but it is for our good. It will produce a better and more stable vessel the next time around.

Remember: The times we seem to be pounded and smashed and pulled out of our comfort zone are often the beginning of God reshaping us or our nation for our good and His glory. Yield to the pressure from His hands.