Singing Pots


As an art major in college, I was required to take two semesters of ceramics. So the biblical illustration about the Potter and clay is very real to me.  But another illustration I heard speaks powerfully to me about the need to rejoice in all things.

A potter was giving a man a tour of his studio.  He explained that most of the time after clay has been formed into bottles, cups, or dishes he sets them aside to dry, then puts them into a kiln and “fires” them at very high heat, to harden the clay.  After a set period of time, the kiln is turned off.  At some point the visitor noticed the artist placed some particular pots into a kiln but did not set the timer.  Curious, he asked, “How will you know when they’re done?”  To which the potter replied, “When they sing.”  When this particular clay reached a certain temperature, it would emit a whistling sound – it would “sing.”  When the potter heard the pots “singing” he’d know the fire had finished it’s work and he’d turn off the kiln.

How often does God have to take us around the mountain one more time because we’ve failed to learn the lesson of rejoicing in all things?

I can imagine angels watching as Jesus takes me through some trial.   “How will you know when he’s done?” they ask.  And I can hear the Lord answer like the potter,  “When he sings.”

We can know God has done an incredible work in our lives when we can worship him in the midst of trials,  when our mouth is filled praise though our eyes are filled with tears.  How that brings glory to God.  It’s easy to praise him when everything’s going great.  But when we offer a costly sacrifice of praise while suffering,  it shows our confidence in his sovereignty, goodness and wisdom.  It brings our Father great pleasure when we sing of his goodness when everything about our situation would call his goodness into question.  It brings him deep joy when we sing that he’s  in control when our circumstances scream there is no one at the wheel.

Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Conversely, faith greatly pleases God.  And what could please God more than our faith expressed by singing?

I’m not saying that God will end our trials if we start to sing.  But worship will lift our eyes from our affliction onto our Savior.  Anybody want to be a singing pot?

Photo by Senor Lebowski

  • http://WebsiteURL bob reiter

    Mark Thank you so much for your singing pot story God is so merciful to give us just what we need when we need it. Glory only in the cross, Glory only in the cross. I make my boast in the Lord Jesus Crist, crusified to ransom me! God Bless you. God will deliver Debbie and me from this trial too.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hey Bob,

      You and Debbie are exercising great trust in Jesus and are so pleasing to him! He’s met your greatest need, and I know he’ll meet all your other needs as well.

  • Caroline

    Yes we should give Him thanks during our trials…these times are difficult, but it helps us to focus on God and to know that He is in complete control.

    Thank you so much for the post :)

    • Mark Altrogge

      You’re welcome, Caroline. Thanks for commenting!

  • emily

    Mark, thank you so much for this post. it reminds me of the song “as long as you are glorified.” How I want my life to be a sacrifice of praise in the midst of every trial.

    As I see more of God’s faithfulness through every day, I find my gaze becomes more fixed on Him and less on what my circumstances are. But oh, I’m aware, I’ve got a long way to go… thanks for the reminder to keep singing.

    Hope you have a great day! I’m praying for you!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hi Emily,

      Thanks for your comments, and for your prayers! Yes, we must keep our gaze fixed on Jesus!

  • http://WebsiteURL Robin

    Another excellent devotional that I will print and send to my son in Marine boot camp who’s been out of training with double pneumonia since November 1. We just heard this morning that his chest x-ray on 12/3 was worse than the one on 12/1. Although his trial is certainly not over, God is still good and worthy of our praise.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hi Robin,

      I’m sorry to hear that your son is still struggling. I’ve prayed for him and will keep praying. Please keep me posted.

      • http://WebsiteURL Robin

        Mark, thanks for your prayers. I will let Taylor know you’re praying for him. He has been so encouraged by how many people are praying for him and recently said he thought he was the most prayed-for recruit at Parris Island.

        By the way, I believe you know Steve Whitman from way back when. I know Steve, Donna, and their daughter, Stephanie. They are very sweet people.

        • Mark Altrogge

          Yes Robin, I know Steve. Please say hi to him for me if you think to next time you see him. Yeah, they’re sweet people.

  • http://godmyexceedingjoy.blogspot.comj Violet

    This post coincides perfectly with Psalm 5:11 that I was memorizing this morning. “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Do we trust Him no matter how hot the fire? Do we love His name? Then let us rejoice, shout for joy, and be joyful in Him!

    • http://WebsiteURL Robin

      Violet, thanks so much for sharing that verse. I always think it’s neat when God speaks the same lesson to us from different sources.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hi Violet,

      Great verse! What a great connection between faith (trust) and singing (rejoice). Thanks for pointing it out!

  • bondChristian

    Yes, I had never heard about the singing clay. Thank you for the excellent analogy. I’ll have to include it in my cool analogies list.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hi Marshall,

      Yeah, I thought it was a pretty cool analogy when I heard it, too.