Archives For Clay

The Quiet Canvas

October 22, 2013 — 2 Comments

Image Credit Madison Wright

fairyjar1The simple act of being quiet before the Lord is a discipline that should be visited often. Quietness is a blank canvas before the Lord. In quietness, God makes faint undertones of color building to a masterpiece for His glory. He is the artist; you are the canvas.

My daughter Madison is an artist. She has work hanging all over her room. Each work tells a story-a story that was in her heart at the time. I’ve had the honor of seeing most of her work come to life over the days; weeks and months she would work on them.

Sometimes, I didn’t have a clue what the painting was until almost the very end. I would have to wait, and then once she put the finally brush strokes to the canvas the work would come alive and completely reveal itself. At other times, I could tell from the beginning what the work was and so in that case, the joy would come in watching her layer the colors making them burst off the canvas.

Quietness is where God works. Let Him paint. Let Him layer. Let Him choose the colors. Your part is to choose quietness. He waits for you. He has a grand idea for using you.

Quietness.

Feelings1

I’m empty today. There is nothing inside of me that is happy. I’m my own worse nightmare. I break promises to God all the time, and I feel there is no way He can love me knowing the thoughts of my heart.

Bitterness haunts me and broken dreams seem to be the only thing in front of me. I keep going and yet deep inside I long for another direction for my life. I question if God knows what He is doing in my life. I fail so often I’ve almost started to expect nothing less.

I wonder constantly how to be a better Father, and yet I seem to never follow through on things and time is slipping away. I desperately want to be a better husband and yet I fall short time and time again. I want to be a better pastor, but I’m confused to what all that means and I wonder if I’m just setting myself up for more disappointment.

I write these things today to show you the voices I encounter on a daily basis, but I also write to tell you more.

I’m actually not empty because He said He would always be with me. That is a promise I can count on regardless of feelings. I don’t have to always be happy because He has promised me joy by the power of His Holy Spirit. I don’t have to worry about being my own worse nightmare because He is for me. I may break promises, but He is the God of mercy and even though He sees the thoughts of my heart, He knows I’m but clay and loves me anyway.

The Bitterness that comes from broken dreams only proves He has a better plan and a better way. The longing for another direction is only a thought of momentary escape, and God knows I’m committed until the end. He is not afraid of my questioning Him because in doing so, I’m drawn closer to His heart. I might fail more often than succeed, but He is there to pick me up when everyone else has run away.

He whispers to me that being a Father is not about being perfect but about loving them and pointing them toward Him, the perfect Father of all. He encourages me to love my wife as Christ loved the church and yet knows I will fail from time to time. Again He shows me His mercy and Grace. He calls to me to remain steadfast in being a pastor and promises me that when the chief Shepherd appears, I will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Oh the beauty of following Christ! Maybe you have similar feelings about your life today? If you do have similar feelings, then welcome to the human story. If you do have similar feelings, then He knows all about them. If you do have similar feelings, then you need to know they will one day pass away forever. Until then, keep walking, keep believing for He is with you.

Dirty Ol’ You

January 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

garagebeforeafter

Do you realize you have been chosen? God has chosen you. He picked you. Let me ask you something. Would you have picked yourself? You probably wouldn’t have, because you know who you truly are.

You know who you are in the dark. You know who you are when you aren’t around other church people. You know what you did last night. You know what dirt still remains in your life needing to be cleaned out.

Yet God still chose dirty ol’ you. Isn’t that wondrous! I know it’s unbelievable because He chose dirty ol’ me also. He has changed my name. He has changed your name. He has given us as Christ followers a new identity.

It’s been said that confession is good for the soul, so hold onto your hat. I have a confession today. Ready? My garage is a disaster.

My wife is in charge of the house. The house is fine. However, if you go to my garage and open the door, you want believe the junk I have allowed to amass.

When I go out there, I say to myself, “This was not intended to be like this, and I’m going to change it.” I’ve yet to get around to cleaning up what needs to be cleaned up. However, the good news is I’m confessing, so hopefully within a few weeks I’m going to get out there and make it happen.

What about you? What about your soul? What about the garage of your soul? What about your life this morning? What about the garage of your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength? Is there any cleaning that needs to be done?

In the proverbial garage of my soul, some things need to be cleaned up from time to time. I’m not waiting another day to start the clean up.

What about your garage?

potters-wheel

Isaiah 64:8
8 But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

God is not finished with you yet. His position in your life is set. He is your Father and your potter. Your position in Him is set. You are His clay and the work of His hand. One day the wheel will stop spinning. What will you be?

God excels in taking clay and transforming it by His grace into a vessel of honor and glory for His namesake.

In Philippians 1:6 we read, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

It is God that has begun the good work in you and he will complete it. On the Day of Jesus Christ, when Heaven and Earth are joined forever, and there is no more death, sin, pain or injustice…you will stand complete in Him.

That day in the future, God wants to bring to bear on your life in the now. You are clay He is shaping to feed the hungry. You are clay He is shaping to give drink to the thirsty. You are the clay He is shaping to welcome the stranger. You are the clay He is shaping to put clothing on the naked. You are the clay He is shaping to visit the sick, and you are also the clay He is shaping to go to those who are in prison.

What about you today? Are you struggling to be conformed to all that God wants to do in your life? Is there an area that you have kept uncommitted to the hand of the potter? Here, is the good news- God does not abandon you. You just maybe need to be reshaped, reworked, reformed a bit more.

You are the clay that God picks up and works into the image of His son. He shapes you as He wants you. Yes, there are times the shaping really hurts, but when He is finished you will be fully human.

Are you open to being reworked by God’s hands? Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Think on this today- If you don’t allow the potter to come into complete contact with you, you will remain an unrealized masterpiece. He has a plan for you life. He wants to use you, but you must remain on the wheel of the potter.

Allow me to remind you once more. One day the wheel will stop spinning. What will you be?