Influence

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It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).


"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV


I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

On Being 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 (NIV)

I am so often prone to believe that I have to ACT right, WORK hard, TRY with all my might to become the person I ought to be, and yet, this passage tells me that I am clay in the hands of the Master Potter. The only help the Potter needs from me is to be soft and pliable when He shapes me. That is so counter-intuitive in our modern culture where everything is about performance, achievement, success, image. I have the hardest time being patient with a process that takes place on God’s timetable, not my own, and over which I have no control except to be still. I was writing about this to a friend this morning to encourage her in her Christian walk. I wanted her to rest in the truth that the Christian life is not about self-imposed behavior modification, but the transformation that comes at the hands of a loving Father who has promised to make us just like Jesus.

The idea of being defenseless clay in the hands of a powerful God can be frightening, especially for those with an image of God that is stern, angry and disgusted with our imperfections. It is, in fact, quite the contrary. While He does want to remove everything that doesn’t look like what He is making us to be, He is not in a rage while He is doing it, but is affectionate and careful in His attention to us. He is both Father and Potter. He is not clumsy or heavy-handed in His shaping, but is patiently bringing forth artistry in His masterpiece—us.

I got to thinking about this and how the same hands that shaped mountains out of rocks and dirt and clay, work daily in the medium of wispy, water-vapor clouds. If He is artist enough to have that kind of range in forming our earth and its atmosphere, surely I can trust Him to be skilled and nuanced and loving enough to handle the stony places in my will AND to work in the fragile stuff my heart is made of. David wrote in Psalm 103:13-14

“As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.” (NIV)

Comments

  1. Wow! I never thought of juxtaposing those qualities of God. You got me thinking this morning! Thanks Shaunie!

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