Aug 27, 2021 08:00am
A Lump of Clay to a Masterpiece

Do you ever beat yourself up over a mistake? Or play a situation over and over in your head kicking yourself for that slip of the tongue or shrug of the cold shoulder? Do you ever wonder how everyone else seems so much better at this than you?

I love one of our family pictures that froze this moment in time just after the birth of our sixth child. It captures smiles precious to my heart and sometimes I sit and stare in amazement at God’s blessings.

BUT . . .

What you don’t see is all that led up to This. One. Moment.

Just minutes before the camera clicked, our three-year old daughter stretched out on the floor screaming, crying, and kicking. The dress Mom chose did not meet her standards and she let us know about it.

We pulled out all the tricks: Treats. Tickling. Bribes. Anything. It’s a wonder we kept the dress on her body and the bow in her hair, but for that one moment, we did.

Then, as we gathered around the pretty white couch in the cascading grass, our four-year old son stepped in ants. He squirmed and itched and yelped as they marched from his toes to his nose.

We picked the photo-busters off one by tiny one as fast as our fingers could find them. Then we perched him in his place on the couch and screamed Cheeeeeesssse!

And now this masterpiece hangs on my wall.

You know why? An artist.

The photographer we chose for this job – she knows us.

Donna Cummings has been snapping our moments for years. She’s caught us throwing snowballs during a Texas snowstorm. She’s captured the boys shooting hoops in the driveway.

She knows us. She knows how to make it work, and she makes It  work.

She’s an artist.

Did you know you have an artist, too. One who knows you, and knows how to make your life a masterpiece.

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 

We often look at the beauty before us without considering what it took to get there. We see the victories in others’ lives and applaud, but we never look for all the potholes along the road that brought them there.

When a potter forms clay he engages in a process of molding and forming it. When imperfections arise, the potter mashes the clay back down only to build it up again, forming and shaping it into exactly what he desires.

Constructing a masterpiece takes delicate hands, willing to get dirty. And friend, God wants that job.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

God sees your masterpiece, so let Him work.

When you feel the pressure of His palm in your life, give way. And in the meantime, be confident of this. We all have moments we would never want to hang on the wall. But if we let them, those moments will move us to cherish great artwork and exalt the Artist who formed it.

Copyright © 2021 by Katy McCown  @ No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from