Monday, September 7, 2015

Thinking about clay...

"But I am only clay and clay doesn't get to choose..." a line from a song that caught my attention, stirred my memory and ignited my thoughts. Five years ago this fall, God gave me a motto for life - "Have Faith and Be Clay". At the time we were expecting our 5th child and I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the how's, the what if's, really the worries. I shared my thoughts with my husband and he responded, "Are you going to say you have faith or are you going to live it?" It was one of those, I know you are right moments, but...

That whole situation led me deeper into God's word to study faith and then to get a better understanding of clay. I'm not talking about the soil type or stuff you played with in art class, but instead of what we are - clay in the Potter's hands. Isaiah 64:8 says, "Yet You, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand."

I was reminded that I was not in control and things don't always go as I plan, but God is the One in control and He has a perfect plan. Now I can't imagine my life and our family without our Jesse Clay...the little man who brings joy and laughs to our home every day. I also know my past would look quite different if I hadn't tried to have faith and be clay in the days that have passed.

God has molded me and strengthened my faith, but as I listened to this song the other day I was reminded the Potter's work is not yet done. The song I heard was titled, "What If Your Best" by FFH and another line says, "I want your best, but what if your best is brokenness?"

I've been walking with Christ for nearly 16 years and I'd have to say through the years I've easily agreed with the opening phrase...I want God's best. I'd almost guess you do too! Those are easy words to say and on the surface can be fun ones to think about from a human, worldly perspective. From our mindset, best often means the top, health, good relationships and the list goes on. It's good stuff, something we want!

But the last phrase of the question stopped my thoughts in their tracks - "What if your best is brokenness?" Friend, I don't want to be broken and if I had to go out on a limb I'd guess you don't long for it much either. Broken just sounds bad. Think for a minute what do you do with broken things in your home - throw them away, pay to fix them or replace them? When a bone is broken there is pain and change that results from it.

Not too many willingly sign up to be broken, but if that's God's best for you, would you want it? That too can be a question that Christians are sometimes quick to say "yes" to. It's a lot easier to say that's what we want, than actually live it out. I've been reminded of this as I think about my sister-in-law and brother-in-law let go of their daughter, Grace. They are broken and to think about this being God's best, well honestly it makes my head spin. Losing a child has to be the hardest thing for any parent to experience, but yet we know God is working.

A few weeks back, shortly after Grace's death, I remember singing "I Surrender All" - a song I'd sung countless times, but this time I caught myself hesitating to voice those words. I've surrendered things to Christ, but that word "All" it grabbed my attention. All means hopes, my plans, my dreams, my husband, my children. There are somethings, some people I hold on to. How about you?

Which takes me back to the opening line of this post, "But I am only clay and clay doesn't get to choose..." Friend, you and I must understand what the Bible says about us - "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel." (Jeremiah 18:6b) Knowing is not enough though, we must believe it and then live like we believe it!

 Friend, we are clay in the Potter's hands and as I think about that I think about my little boy with the middle name of Clay. Tonight he didn't want to eat what I made for supper, but yet he didn't have any other options, so he ate it and by the time the meal was over he was actually enjoying it. In a similar way, we may not want what God has to offer, appreciate the plan of His that unfolds or like the way He molds us, but yet He is the Potter...the one with the perfect plan, the one with complete control and the one who works all together for good of those who love Him.

Oh to trust Him more, truly surrender all and purely long for His best. It is a journey, but one we walk with Him. Friend, today will you join me in "Having Faith and Being Clay"? It's not easy and it's not always fun, but the Potter is gentle, gracious and good!

Here's FFH singing about God's best...

And if you have time for one more song, here's Addison Road with "What Do I Know of Holy?" It's a good one! A reminder that there is much we don't know and gives some insight into what we need to do if we truly want God's best and long to be more holy!

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