Review of “Living Clay: Experiencing a Beautiful Life in the Master’s Hands”



By: Keith Missel
Published: 2016

Sometimes what seems like a simple metaphor in Scripture turns into a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. The imagery of the potter and the clay is a perfect example. Understanding that God creates, shapes, and develops us over time are simple truths. Yet, the depths of these truths become more tangible when we experience them in an intimate relationship with our Father. God often uses these familiar metaphors to demonstrate what we often overlook: He is here, and He wants to transform us beyond the limits we create for ourselves.

Author Keith Missel had such an experience. Though he had been a Christian and pastor for years, in a single moment Keith was moved while watching Gregorio, a Romanian potter, form a clay vessel. Keith sensed God’s love for him in a new and intense way:

“After spending much time shaping and molding a beautiful vase, he stopped the wheel again. He locked both his hands and placed them together on top of the vase. Then, with great accuracy and force, Gregorio crushed the clay vessel back to the wheel. What just happened? I wondered in shock. … Then God’s Spirit brought clarity as I sensed Him saying, ‘Keith, this is a picture of what I, the Master Potter, have been doing with you during the past 20 years: shaping you into the image of my Son.’ … God was molding me to be a vessel of use for His purposes. Tears began to flow, and time seemed to stand still.”

Keith invites his readers to join him on an 8 week journey of learning to trust the Potter’s hands. Using Scripture and an account of Keith’s own journey, he shares what it means to trust God to form and mold us for His purposes. The God that loves and nurtures us is the same God that allows pain and suffering in order to complete His redemptive purposes. Keith shares not only his own story, but also the stories of friends and others who have experienced how God transforms each of us according to His will and pleasure.

Whether you would consider yourself a Christian or someone who has never explored Christianity before, this book will guide you through the Old and New Testament to understand more fully what it means to be loved and shaped by God—even if you are not sure what that means. You will study Bible passages that speak directly to God’s love and what it means to trust Him to shape your life, and what happens when we rely on ourselves, instead of God, to do His work.

Like many of us, Keith’s life has been full of victory and setbacks. Knowing God is in control of all of these events, Keith is able to say “The Potter’s hands have never abandoned me but have continued to form, shape and mold me into the unique and useful vessel He desires.”

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Thank you to the author for his friendship and a copy of this book for review.

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1 Response to Review of “Living Clay: Experiencing a Beautiful Life in the Master’s Hands”

  1. Francisco Roman says:

    My family and I have begun a devotional using Living Clay. From day one the metaphor communicated with relevance to all of us, 13 years to 51. We will be passing the book among us and returning to the table to share what we are individually learning and inspired by. Thank you Pastor Missel for this opportunity.

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