Cries From The Clay: I do not start at the truth, I am led to it.

“And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.”
 
Isaiah 64:8

I do not, this morning, have a gentle, submissive attitude that praises you for your wonderful works. Today, I’m upset. These are cries from the clay in the messy and pressure-filled work of molding.

I’m frustrated by this verse because as you formed my body, you allowed this genetic flaw that would make every pregnancy miserable. I’m nauseous. I’m hot. I’m tired of throwing up. I’m tired of how little control I have over whether our travel plans will actually work out or constantly need to be re-worked. I’m tired of the countdowns.

Countdown to second trimester? Done! So what? Other people get to bid the nausea good riddance and enjoy the extra energy. I throw up and spend my days in bed just the same. Countdown to going home? Meaningless. Travel is so tenuous now, it could all fall apart at the last minute. Countdown to the baby? It will mean no sleep and a torn up body.

Every countdown just feels like counting down to more problems that I do not have the capacity to take on.

We do not get to just enjoy your gifts. They are fraught with difficulty and brokenness at every turn. Relief is coming, but it is so far away. And I am living and trying to stay encouraged here and now. I am struggling to find tangible joy and hope for my tired hands to take hold of.

I’m crying out to you, my Maker. You, who have carried me through these waters before. You, who have set me on solid ground and given my heart new cause to rejoice. Forgive my angry outcries and restore my soul. I am breaking here and I do not understand your ways.

Outward, always outward I am reaching and searching for a source of delight and satisfaction and strength, but you use these moments of unrelenting hardship – not just to teach me to endure – but to teach me how you endure.

You, my light and hope and source of lasting contentment, you endure untarnished by the harsh realities I am walking through. May my heart be humble and wise enough to take you at your word that your grace alone is sufficient for me, especially in the frustrating moments when I do not feel it.

You gave your life for my freedom. It’s the message for all time, given at just the right time (1 Timothy 2:6). Freedom from condemnation, fear and worry. Freedom from the need for control. Freedom to surrender.

Oh Lord,

Help my heart to surrender to your care and rest, even in my disappointment, even in all that is uncertain. Lead my heart to contentment in you, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer. I do not start there, and when it gets rough like this, I cannot find the way myself.

But I can come to you and pour out my soul. I can admit that the truth doesn’t feel true and confess my need for help with my own heart, and you will faithfully step in to lead me. When I am blindly groping for a foothold, you are a faithful guide who makes my shaking feet sure, and you gently help me to believe again that you are a trustworthy potter. That what you are crafting is worth every second of the wait. And that in every moment of my difficulty, you hold me carefully in your hands.

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5

Matchless – by Beka Burns

“So I’ll hold on for dear life, you are worth all it costs.”

Yet I Want Your Will: 5 words to hold onto when I do not like the plan

“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

-Mark 14:36

Lord, may I learn to decide on these two things:

1. Everything is possible for you.
2. Yet, I want your will.

When things aren’t going my way, may I not falter over whether my problems matter to you or if this is just too complicated or challenging or huge for you to change. You are able and willing on my behalf.

When I consider what I have walked through and what I am facing and it just seems like a bad plan, like meaningless suffering, like aimless wilderness; in the face of brokenness and all that I don’t understand, may I come back to this:

“Yet I want your will.”

Obviously, there’s a part of me that doesn’t. There’s a part of me that wants to skip past the struggle. There’s an urge to take over that rises to the surface when I feel passed over, unimportant, uncomfortable and afraid. But when I consider all the stories you have stepped into and the ways you have worked on behalf of those who trusted you, your plan is what I want. 

So, Lord, help me to remember. Strengthen my heart to wait. Those who have waited through difficulty to see what you would bring on the other side of it have not been disappointed. 

Those who have gazed at all the wealth and luxury and trappings that this world has to offer and then chosen to lay them down and go after you have not been disappointed.

This hope does not disappoint. 

Even Jesus took a long, hard look at what the Father had planned for him and was daunted. But the One who decided, “Yet I want your will,” died and came back from death and rescued those beyond rescue and stands in triumph now.

Saying yes to you is always, always worth what it costs.

So may I walk in his pattern, humble myself when I do not like the plan, and learn these five words by heart:

“Yet I want your will.”

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”

Philippians 3:8