I would like to again tell you about the sermon we heard this past Sunday. It was very well done by Bro. Bob, talking about The Journey of the Clay. Here is a beautiful illustration of how we truly are clay in the Fathers hands.
Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Isral
When Bob was a teenager he worked at a tile mill, where farm tile was made. Here is the process the clay went through before becoming tile.
Gen. 1 says man was made from the earth and just as man, clay is dug up from the earths ground.
Then the clay goes into the washing room. In big tubs of water the clay is washed and impurities like sand are separated from the clay making it more pure. When we accept Jesus into our lives He washes us with his blood making us more pure also.
The clay is then put outside to dry and once it is dry it goes through the crushers. The crushers crush the clay and not only break the large hard clumps of clay but the process makes rocks and other impurities that didn't come out during the washing process, come to the surface and leave the clay. Similarly, we often go through hard times and our spirit may be crushed but its all in God's plan and what we don't know is that we are one step closer and purer to Him.
Then the clay enters the "tub", a big vat with augers turning and mixing the clay and another big auger in the bottom pulling the clay out of the vat. A man then will stand above the tub and spray in water so it becomes the correct consistency to be able to be formed. We also again go through things in our lives that turn us and mix us so that we become more aware of who God is and how he will use us. He is preparing us to be used for his glory.
After the clay leaves the vat it then goes to the molds and is shaped. The clay runs on conveyor belts and is in one long string of tile. As it goes down the conveyor belt it is cut into the lengths needed for the tile orders, then it is separated. Bob likened this to when the disciples are called to be sent out. We aren't always made to stay with those we love. We may be called to go somewhere far away.
Bob worked as one of the runners. Runners would take the cut tile to train cars that were waiting to be filed with the tile. If a runner could tell the tile was too soft and not going to be useful he let it go on the conveyor belt and it went back around to the tub again to be remade, just like in verse 4 of Jeremiah: And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Sometimes we need to be remade and start over with God, being re-refined and being re-shaped in his image.
If the tile was good and fine, it was put on the train car. When the train was full it went down the track headed for the kiln. The kilns are extremely hot so that the tile dries fast and hardens. If the tile went directly from the conveyor belt, still soft, to the kiln it would bubble and be distorted. So the train goes through a tunnel of low heat driers. This allows the clay to dry somewhat before going to the kiln. God doesn't give us more than we can bare. If we aren't ready for something as big as the kiln, he wont give it to us.
Once the clay is ready for the kiln, it goes through and after it comes out there is a man who has a hammer and taps each piece of tile. Even if there is a hairline crack it will sound different. These pieces are then thrown on a pile and later crushed and used for things like driveway gravel. We will have many testings in our life. And my prayer for each of you is that you pass them and stay true to the One and Only, Jesus Christ!!