I’ve been working on a scrapbook the last while. Looking back at the journal. Re-reading the adventure I took. Remembering through pictures. Some make me chuckle. Others are sober reminders that history is not kind. Fact checking memory against other sources.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Romans 8:28 (MSG)
I’ve been applying the same process to parts of my life. Looking back. Remembering adventures with God. Some make me chuckle at His timing. Others bring me to tears wondering at the choices that I’ve made. Marvelling at God’s goodness has been constant.
How was I to know that He would provide exactly what was needed in that moment? How was I to know that He was protecting me, even from myself, in other situations? How was I to know that His plan would land me here – this place at this time? How was I to know that His goodness was going before me even when it didn’t feel like it?
I expect God to show up. He does. Rarely, if ever, does He show up in the way I want or anticipate that He will. That’s His artistry. I expect linear movement because I am a concrete and sequential thinker. But the lines of my life and His direction and leading look much more convoluted. Twisting and turning in ways I would never have chosen on my own.
There are bumps, even mountains on the journey that He has had me on. In the thick of the climb, I’ve not appreciated the view or the lessons I was meant to learn. That’s when my God has applied His potter’s hands. Sculpting, smoothing, shaping, forming, taking the rough and the lumpy and moulding my life and heart to His.
A good clay pot goes through the fire of the kiln. Heat to harden the clay, setting the colour and the shape. Some life experiences have seemed like fire. Difficult, discouraging, scorching whatever was there. In the thick of it, it has felt like He was distant, inattentive, removed. Little did I know how much he was present through it. Right there, beside me, with me. That’s my God the potter. Attentive to the details of my life, not finished with me, ever.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvellously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation! Psalm 139:13-14 (MSG)
I need my God to be the artist and the potter. He is beauty and creativity beyond my wildest understanding. His creative work in me is far from complete. He has been shaping me from the time my life began. I can only pray that am coming to resemble Him more and more.
Pat Barrett’s Canvas and Clay