Thursday, November 3, 2011
Molded By The Potter
Living in north Texas, winter is rainy and cold. It's not Iowa cold where the wind chill takes your breath away. Here, it is more of a damp cold, that makes you want to hide under a blanket. On those dreary wet days, the kids have no choice but to entertain themselves inside. One of their favorite rainy day distractions used to be Play-Doh. Even now, my girls like to play "bakery" and mash the colorful clay into pretend cakes and cookies for imaginary customers. For hours, they sit together at the kitchen table, molding and shaping their Play-Doh into creations from their own imagination. And if their design isn't the masterpiece they envisioned, they simply pound it down and start again.
The Bible tells us we are like clay. In Job, scripture says, "I am the same as you in God’s sight; I too am a piece of clay." (Job 22:6) We are constantly being molded either into the likeness of Christ or into the image of the world. One leads to peace, the other to peril. One leads to joy, the other despair. One leads to restoration, the other to ruin. When we choose to spend time with God, we allow Him to shape us into the creation he imagined before our conception. Scripture explains "yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)
Not long ago, I spoke with a woman who had forgotten that she is "the work of a potter’s hands". (Lamentations 4:2) Bitter from disappointment, the woman explained that her life had not turned out the way she had planned. Through the years, she had grown distrustful of the LORD. Rather than clinging to God and allowing Him to mold her life into something meaningful and beautiful, she instead chose to embrace the false securities of the world. In her discouragement, this young woman's heart had grown cold towards God.
My heart broke when I took in the hopelessness of her words. She was so sure she was right about the LORD, although my eyes of faith could see clearly what she could not. She insisted her past circumstances offered her all the "proof" she needed. In her present state, she is blind to all that God has done for her. She only sees her pain. Consequently, there was little I could say to change her mind. Instead, I chose to hear her out. Then I took her before the Lord in prayer. I am not close to this woman, and I have no idea where her heart stands today, but I know the LORD isn't finished with her. In time, He shall shape this beautiful woman's life as it seems best to Him. (Jeremiah 18:4)
As a mother of faith, her story is one that I keep close to my heart. Truly, it is a reminder of how important it is for me to mold the hearts of my children for God. I long for them to be clay in the potter's hands all of their days. For, in His hands, the hands which gave them life, their future is secure, no matter how their circumstances appear. Troubles are momentary. However, God is eternal. Regardless of the political or financial climate of today or the deteriorating condition of the world, my children will know His peace if they rest in the hands of the potter.
We are told that in this life, trouble would surely find us. After all, we are born with a sinful nature into a fallen world. All of creation is groaning in peril. Trouble is a certainty we all must face. Still, God is with us in our troubles and He is working everything for good. (Romans 8:28) If we are wise, we will be mindful that even in our troubles, God is molding and shaping us into the image of Christ. For the LORD declares, "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand." (Jeremiah 18:6)