The Pressing

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By: Kandy Persall

From outward appearances, the terra cotta lump is merely a bulk of clay. Indeed the pliable mud is no better than any other, consisting only of sand, silt, water, and finely crushed minerals. This ordinary adobe bears the destiny of becoming another piece of unremarkable pottery. 

The only difference lies in the hand of the potter. If the artisan is skilled and experienced, his creation will reflect these qualities. If he is lackluster or commonplace, the vessel will be as well. If the craftsman is evil and black-hearted, these fingerprints will imprint the cylinder. 

Thankfully, the muddiness of our lives is in the Hands of the Divine. While in this world, our unfinished earthen creation will still be easily pressed by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NET). We must decide daily to remain a chosen vessel in our Craftsman’s Hands (2 Corinthians 4:7; Acts 9:15).

Our strength lies hidden within our fictile putty. Unlike our impressionable flesh, His Spirit gives us an inner globe of light impervious to any touch but His own. He has already fired this treasure with His work on the cross and sealed it with His blood. Our core, like a living crystal orb, is anchored “within the veil” and derives its life from Christ Himself (Hebrews 6:19). “It is the treasure within the vessel that gives the vessel its value” (Warren Wiersbe). 

We will be burdened excessively, beyond what our clay can endure, but we can still glory (2 Corinthians 1:8). Life presses us on every side with trauma and fear, but our inner life cannot be crushed. Situations will perplex us, but we will not be driven to despair. Experiences may knock us down, but the Spirit within us remains invulnerable, so we can stand again (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Our strength lies not in ourselves but in our Core, “on Whom we have set our hope” (2 Corinthians 1:10).

Realizing this, we must be careful with the fingerprints we leave upon others. They are His workmanship, not our own (Ephesians 2:10). I’m often challenged by Romans 14:4. “Who are you (Kandy) to judge (or try to mold) the servant of another? (Your husband, child, or friend) will stand (not because of your pushing and pressing but because) the Lord is able to make him stand.” 

Yes, there is a tension between being hands-off and permitting Him to use our hands. It’s not an easy balance. But as He thins and stretches our clay (and allows the world to do so), the light within us becomes more clearly visible (2 Corinthians 4:7 ). “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).

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Father, thank You for giving me an indestructible core by sealing Your Spirit into my depths. I willingly put my moldable flesh in Your Hands. Grant me the strength to endure today’s pressing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.