He looked down at his feet, coated in desert dust. The mumbling and grumbling of his people burned in his ears, and in his heart and mind. Right about now, he would rather hear the bleating of the sheep he once shepherded, instead of the ungrateful complaints of these people he was shepherding to the Promised Land.

But this task is his calling.

His mind flashed back to that day deep in the wilderness, when God spoke to him from a bush that burned, yet was not consumed by the flames.

God said that He had seen the suffering of His people, and was appointing Moses to return to Egypt to demand that Pharaoh let his people go.

Moses hadn’t heard from God for 40 years. But during that time, God was preparing him for this undertaking. Those 40 years, tending sheep may have seemed like a waste of time to Moses. Especially, considering he was educated as a prince of Egypt. But God was getting him ready.

He was being molded for the tremendous task of shepherding a nation of people across the desert. Shaped, trained, and formed into who God needed him to be.

There are many individuals in the Bible who go through different seasons of blessing and adversity. Moses’ story is one of my favorites.

I read this quote in one Greg Laurie’s devotionals that I read every morning:

“So, think about your own life for a moment. You might be going through something that makes no sense to you right now. Maybe you’re asking, ‘Why am I going through this trial at this stage of my life?’ or ‘Why am I facing this crisis?’ Here’s why: God is molding you into the man or woman that He wants you to be.” (from Greg Laurie devotional, July 2, 2020)

Idea: Everything that happens seems to be preparation for something else.

“Mold” has many different definitions (not the ewwwy black stuff!)These two caught me:

1. To form into a particular shape; give shape to;

2. To guide or determine the growth or development of; influence.


Both definitions describe what God does to His people. He molds us like clay.

Sometimes we are cooperative clay. And sometimes we are reluctant clay.

Cooperative clay is easily movable. It’s soft and moist. The Creator can mold the clay into any shape He wants.

Reluctant clay is dry, and hard. It is not easy to shape. Most often, it breaks, and crumbles into pieces before it can be molded. And it’s useless.

Which clay are you? (Which clay am I?)

The clay can’t mold itself. It needs the Master Potter.

The Master is patient and full of loving kindness for the lumpy clay, and is willing to form it into His image.

Often times, pieces of the clay need to be cut off and left behind, because they do not fit into the shape the Designer has in mind. This can hurt. And it can take time.

The clay should keep an attitude of surrender to the Master, never fighting the process. This too can hurt, and takes time.

This is where suffering and failure can surface. I’m not a fan of either of these. They are terrible to live with. Trusting God in these times is vital to stay moldable in the Master’s Hands. It is my almost daily prayer for God to work through (and despite of) my greatest hurts and mistakes for His will and my good. Beauty from Ashes. That’s what He does. He is amazing.

This is when it is good to focus on what God says about His people, and meditate on His words. God says so many true and wonderful things about you (and me). Here are just a few drops in the ocean of God’s love:

  • you are fearfully and wonderfully made (see Psalm 139:14),

  • you are loved unconditionally (see Jeremiah 31:3),

  • you are accepted (see John 6:37), and

  • you are precious and honored in His sight (see Isaiah 43:4).


These words are the Truth. They are the Master Potter’s words about His beloved lumps of clay (i.e. us). His Word is a key tool he uses to shape us, and mold us into His Design.

“I want to encourage you not to settle for less than the best life that God wants to give you. Maybe you’re in the middle of a testing season in your life right now, and the temptation to quit and give up is strong. Know this: with Jesus, you have what it takes to go through it and experience the freedom and wholeness on the other side…it’s not too late!” – From one of Joyce Meyer’s daily devotionals. I couldn’t say it any better than Mama Joyce does. (Author’s Note: God teaches me and speaks to me personally through daily devotionals almost every day, and I love it so much. I highly recommend starting your day with one or two.)

This is how we become and remain cooperative clay. Moses was moldable clay, and he was used to free a nation of people from bondage.

I want to be moldable and malleable, ready for the Master Potter to shape and use according to His will.

Application Prayer: Lord, please help me stay pliable, soaked in Your Word, so You can squish me into Your desired design. In Jesus’ name, amen.

ANGELA DOLBEAR is the author of four novels, and several short stories. She also writes and records original music with her husband, Tim Dolbear. Please visit her author page on Amazon for more information.



Cooperative Clay
by Angela Dolbear

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