Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Be Like Clay

Some He blesses and makes great,
Some He sanctifies and draws to himself.
Others he curses and brings low,
And expels them from their place.
Like clay in the hands of a potter,
To be molded according to his pleasure,
So are men in the hands of their Creator,
to be assigned by Him their function.
As evil contrasts with good, and death with life,
So are sinners in contrast with the just;
See now all the works of the Most High;
They come in pairs, the one the opposite of the other.
Sirach 33:12-15

You never really know what God is going to do. But He really likes to work with this pairing. There was Eve, and her opposite was Mary. Jesus & Satan, Peter and Judas (one betrayed and came back, the other hanged himself), etc.

Sometimes God gives you a string of good things, or bad things, and its hard to adjust when He switches it off on you.

The key is to be malleable – clay only works well if its moist and wet, so that it can be shaped on the potter’s wheel.

It’s hard to surrender. That’s when it’s helpful to go back to basics. Re-establish your relationship with God & the Trinity. Build it up without pretenses. Let God be God, Jesus your Savior, and the Holy Spirit your Advocate. Anything else that He wants to be in your life will come from Him – and no one else.

Reflection on the need for retreats

Sometimes we let the things in the world crowd and clutter our minds. All these superficial things, all the “you should do this,” “why can’t you do this instead?” Demands from people, pulling us out, thinning us. Have you ever rolled dough? If you roll it out too much in one direction, a hole tears in the middle, at the core.

As cliché and age-old as this is, you really do need to be true to yourself.

In Scripture God tells Jeremiah (and all later generations of Bible owners) “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, why you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you […]” Jer. 29:11-14

Many things around us in life call out to you and demand you to pay attention – but how many of these pay attention to you? How many care enough about you to put the world on hold and listen – You’re His Child. Father says we can call Him Abba, which means Daddy. God says that He’ll listen to you – that nothing is more important than you in this very moment, and the next, of each and every day. Remember how often Jesus would say that He goes out looking for that one missing lamb while the other 99 are safe? Important things get repeated (example: teachers drill things into you, parents nag, etc). He’ll listen no matter how small or big the request; it’s just that sometimes His answers are different than what we expect.