These experiences came back to mind this morning when I read about the potter in Jeremiah 18. Verse three says, "there (the potter) was making something on the wheel."
I am thanking God for His Awesome hands! The clay has no idea what the potter is shaping it into when it is on the wheel. The clay's job is to yield to the potter -- the one who has the vision for what the clay is meant to be. Unlike me (who shaped the clay into the only things I was capable of making it into), God is not limited by lack of skill or patience or vision. God is perfect and He is constantly working our lives into what He created us to be. When we yield to Him the results will be beautiful. When we don't yield to Him we make it tougher on ourselves and also prolong processes that might be mighty uncomfortable.
Think about what would happen if the clay was able to rebel against the potter. The potter couldn't get anything done until the clay yielded. In a way actual clay can "rebel." It can for some reason not work with the potter. When that happens the potter has to squash the clay and start again. Sometimes this means the new creation will be smaller than the one originally intended.
This happens with us too. If we waste a lot of time going our own way, when we finally yield to God He works with what is left and creates something beautiful and useful to Him. Yet, it probably is different than what He intended (that we will never know. God doesn't tell us what would have happened if we had yielded to Him right away).
None of these are new thoughts. People have been talking about God being the potter since people were potters. Yet, it is good to remember. The situations you are in, the people who are in your life, all of this God will use to shape you into who you are meant to be. We never have to stop growing. We never have to stop learning. Who we are today isn't who we were a year ago, even a week ago. Let God shape you. Yield to Him. The results will be fantastic!