What does it mean to have “a clay heart”?

I’ve considered this for quite a few years now, from the time the phrase was given to me by the Lord when it just kinda popped into my head. I’ve grown to realize that it is an ongoing process and lifelong – the heart of clay.

Let me explain some of the meaning behind this phrase and having “a clay heart”…

Firstly, we all have a heart of clay.

Think about it:
  • We were formed from the dust.

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7

  • The Lord is our potter, and we are the clay.
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
– Isaiah 64:8
Since we are formed from the dust and we are the clay, while the Lord is our potter, we can look at the symbolism of this and understand what “A Clay Heart” means.

As I thought more and more about it, I realized that clay can take on different properties:

  • Clay can easily dry out if not properly cared for.
  • If heated or fired in a kiln or oven, clay becomes hard.
  • When kept moist, clay maintains its ability to be molded. In a way it is considered “soft”.

Now this may seem like a silly comparison to a heart, but I still found it interesting how it parallels. Perhaps I’m the only one who sees a heart in this way, but take a closer look – take on this perspective.

Just as clay can easily dry out – if a heart is not properly cared for, it can dry out too and become brittle. If the Lord does not hold our heart, then the world can easily dry out our heart. Hurts from other people who do not cherish or properly care for another’s heart can cause this drying out or brittleness. When people abandon you, or leave you, you can feel this dryness. Once dried, our hearts grow bitter towards those around us, and we lose so much – very little can satisfy when our hearts are dry.

When clay is heated or “fired”, it becomes hard. Our hearts can become just as hard. Similar to the “dryness” I mentioned in the above paragraph. When life circumstances, hurts, trials, or suffering – these “fires” can cause our hearts to become hard. Once something is hardened, you cannot make it soft again. It is easy to break hardened clay, and leave it in many pieces.

When clay is kept moist or soft, it can be molded into something beautiful. This is the property our heart should stay in. Our hearts can be kept soft and moistened by our Creator, King, Father, Lover, and Friend. When He possesses our heart, He will always take proper care of it. He can mold it into something beautiful. Hearts kept moist by praising Him, reading His Word, putting it into practice, being with Him, etc.

So which property of clay is your heart?

Often times, I notice mine is a mixture of the 3… sometimes dryer is some areas than others, sometimes hard is another, and soft in the areas that God holds and molds. It’s an ongoing process to stay “soft” in His hands, so that at the proper time – when we meet face-to-face, the molding He created is a beautiful bride.

Let Jesus remove those dry and hard clay spots… and if you’re all dry, go soak in the Father… and if you’re all hard, go be broken before Him so he can piece you back together with soft clay.

This blog is just to share the ongoing process of “a clay heart”, and share some of what the Lord is doing in my own heart and life – or simply things that He shows me in His word or times we spend together.