Girlfriends in God - July 5, 2011

July 5, 2011

The Potter and the Clay

Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
But LORD, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all (Isaiah 64:8, NCV).

Friend To Friend
When our daughter was in pre-school, one of her favorite activities was playing with clay. Danna often pulled her little step stool over to the closet where the clay was stored and pulled out the boxes of brightly colored clay. With great concentration and effort, Danna’s little fingers would then pry them open and she would begin to work. 

For hours at a time, Danna would pound, mold, stretch and create her own clay world. Animals, people, flowers and aliens would emerge from the lumps of clay. Her work done, she called me to “put them up.” That meant it was time to exhibit her clay masterpieces for her brother and father to see when they came home. 

Danna’s creations would remain on display until they grew hard and brittle. We would then break them apart, sprinkle them with water and put them back into their containers, allowing the clay to grow soft again. 

When it comes to spiritual matters – God is the Potter, the Creator, and we are the clay. The world says we should never give up our rights because if we do, we will lose everything. God says that if we surrender to Him, we will gain everything that is important. 

In order for God to make us into what He wants us to be, we have to become pliable and willing - like clay. We must come to Him, placing ourselves in His hands, the Potter’s hands. Total surrender demands that we come with no agenda, no pre-set conditions – giving Him permission to bend us, break us and change us. We sometimes come to God, with a hardened heart and brittle spirit. Life has broken and damaged us and the wrong hands have molded us. Remember, how we come to Him is not nearly as important as the fact that we come. As we give up control to Him, like a Master Craftsman, He begins to work patiently and lovingly, with a specific plan and one-of-a-kind design in mind. He works through circumstances as well as people, through joy and pain, victory and defeat. He filters every part of life through His plan for us and uses it to create a life of worth and meaning. 

Oh, we have tried to live life with our own agenda and plan and have experienced discontentment and frustration. Our soul longs for more and our heart cries out, “Is this all there is?” The truth is that nothing and no one but God can bring us the peace and joy for which we are searching. Are you ready to become the clay, surrendering your broken life to the Potter’s loving and purpose-filled hands? Today is the day!

Let’s Pray
Lord, I am tired of trying to live life in my own power. Right now, I give up and surrender my life completely to You. I choose Your plan over mine. I give You permission to mold me and make me what You want me to be.  I will wait before You and seek Your direction.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn
What has been the plan – according to you – for your life up to this point?
What kind of results has that plan produced? 
Write a prayer of surrender to God and record it in your journal. Be sure to include the following steps:

  • Recognize that you have been trying to live life according to your plan – your agenda.
  • Admit that your refusal to surrender your life to God has brought only frustration and emptiness.
  • Right now – surrender to God.
  • What one of the following actions do you need to take in order to obey God?

_____Join a local church
_____Get involved in a small group
_____Read the Bible daily
_____Pray constantly
_____Seek God in everything I do

More From The Girlfriends
I have to admit I am not very good at giving up and even flinch at the very thought of “surrender.” I was taught never to give up; to be strong and to depend on no one but myself. In fact, the very thought of surrender seems like a weakness to me and is completely opposite to my human strength and will. Exactly!  Did you know that my name, Mary, literally means bitter, but when broken, sweet? Unless I am in a constant state of surrender to God, I will surely become bitter, brittle and broken.

Need help? Get Mary’s MP3 download, The Powerful Woman. And be sure to check out Mary’s new weekly Online Bible Study beginning July 18: StressManagement 101. Enroll now and have access to all 2011 lessons. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebookor through email.

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Tuesday, 05 July 2011.