Malleable or Pliant?

Pliant- – –
1. bending readily; flexible; supple; adaptable: –‘She manipulated the pliant clay.’
2. easily influenced; yielding to others; compliant:-‘He has a pliant nature.’

Malleable- – –
1. capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer or by the pressure of rollers.-‘Anna was shaken enough to be malleable.’
2. capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences.-‘He has the capacity for adaptive change.’
     I am certain that the Roth brothers could give me a lesson on clay and pottery. When does the clay lose it’s pliant and malleable factor? In the firing, I’m pretty sure. But while it is still being formed and possibly on a wheel with some ‘slip’, (clay mixed with water to make the forming of the clay easier and to smooth what has already been molded), there is still the option of change. Once the clay has hardened and been fired, there isn’t much that can be done, especially when glazing is applied.
    During the kneading process the clay is handled roughly by the potter as he works out the air bubbles and impurities in it. At first the clay itself is abrasive and unresponsive but the more time the potter spends kneading it the more elastic and pliable it becomes. ‘IF’ we really do indeed want to be used of God, then He has to put us through the kneading process. ‘IF’ we are responsive and yield to Him then it will be much easier for Him and easier on us. But the more we resist God the more roughly He has to deal with us. When we finally submit to Him totally and willingly that His “kneading” of us becomes soothing and relaxing and we are healed in our spirit. We can become a blessing to all who see us when we are healed in our inner man. ‘IF’ we continue to buck that which doesn’t suit us, the Potter will continue to ‘knead’ us. Sometimes the vessel has to be completely mashed to a lump again and started over. I have done that in art class in high school, several times. The piece just wouldn’t let me form it and I had to start over with the kneading.
    Sometimes our lives aren’t what we had hoped or worked for, in our own strength and wisdom. We have a Savior who is a kind, loving, patient, gentle potter, but He is still the POTTER, we are not. If we yield, stretch, become pliant and adaptive, the kneading will be comforting and creative. If we do not, well I have seen the Potter slam the clay hard on the table to get the air pockets out. I have seen the Potter use a spatula to pick out, cut out, stones and other impurities, that if fired in the clay will not do service to His intent for that vessel.
    Jeremiah 18:3 “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: 4 so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”
    Am I pliant and malleable? Am I willing to get out of my comfort zone to be a blessing to others by letting the Potter work on me?  How about you? Have you decided what you will do and won’t do? Are you already set in your own glaze and unusable for His purposes?
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