I've been thinking a lot lately about the process of making a clay pot. Before the piece is designed under the expertize of the artist, the clay must be first pounded and molded and shaped and beaten. The potter removes blemishes and inconsistencies in the process. Sometimes the pot is completely scraped off the wheel and remolded again and again. Then it goes through the drying process and being placed into a hot furnace continuing the perfecting needed to make the piece into a work of art.
The pot may say to the potter, "Why are you being so mean to you? Don't you realize how much that hurts?" Or perhaps saying, "Stop, I've had enough. I don't need any more blemishes removed. I'm perfect now." But only the potter knows when the pot is ready. He has the final decision.
So it is with Christ with the process of refining us to be more like Him. At times we may go through difficult experiences, learning what it means to be His follower. We don't like the ugly, exposed sins that God is tearing away from us. It makes us feel open, exposed. We don't want others to see our failures. But at times we need to be open and willing and vulnerable before God can work at refining us into what He desires of us. Only Christ can take this ugly, lump of clay of my life and make it into a beautiful masterpiece.