He tried again, making of the clay another object.


Israel had wandered from the Lord—not once, but multiple times, over many years.   The people were worshipping false gods, breaking the commandments, and cozying up to foreign enemies.   It was into this state of chaos that God sent Jeremiah to prophesy.   Often, Jeremiah’s words were upbraiding.   But in today’s first reading (Jeremiah 18:1 – 6), he gives a word of hope.   God isn’t done with Israel—and he never will be.   He will never give up his love for them.   As a potter refashions clay, God will always work to mold them into the people he created them to be.

Does God’s anguish over Israel sound familiar?   Every parent, sibling, or spouse—likely each of us—has felt something similar.   We want a loved one to change.   We see all they could become if only they would turn to God more deeply.   Yet even in their messiness, we see the beautiful person they already are and how much God loves them.

If you have felt this way, it means that you know something of God’s heart for his children.   The good news is that God is still the Divine Potter, and the way he felt about Israel is the way he feels about each of his children.   No one is off his radar.

What a comfort!   This means that if you’ve been praying for someone to come to the Lord for what seems like a long time, you can trust that the Divine Potter is at work.   Don’t give up.   When you feel weary or tempted to discouragement, turn to the Lord.   Try praying an honest, simple prayer:   “Jesus, you know what will move this person forward.   Open their heart.”   Finally, keep asking him for strength for yourself—mental, physical, and emotional.   He wants to help you to endure and persevere.   Remember, he waited a long time for Israel, so he knows what it’s like!

Our Father never stops trying to form and mold his children’s hearts—and that includes every one of our loved ones.   He will always try again, “making of the clay another object” (Jeremiah 18:4).   He refashioned Israel time and again, and he will do the same for each of us.

“Divine Potter, I surrender my loved ones to you.   Mold them how-ever you desire.”

Psalm 146:1-6
Matthew 13:47-53