Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Getting A Handle On It

 Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots!  Does the clay say to him who forms it, What are you making? or Your work has no handles?
Woe to him who says to a father, What are you begetting? or to a woman, With what are you in labor?
Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? -- Isaiah 45:9-11

Are we going to tell God what to do with our lives or ask Him why He has made us the way we are, or why He has allowed the things into our lives that He has? 

I’ll admit that it seems presumptuous for the pot to ask why the potter has not added handles.  As the hillbillies used to say, It’s a shame I wasn’t born rich instead of so good-looking.  God did not put handles on us because we are not the kind that has to be carried around.  We are the waiting and holding kind, the pot that rests on the shelf, ready to receive what the handled pot brings in.  Or we are the kind with handles, and we envy our fellow pots that never get dragged out into the field or down to the water with all the risks of damage and breakage.  We may be the kind that gets lowered again and again into the cold, black pit to draw forth from the well of sorrows. 

We look around and wonder, What has been sown?  What is coming forth?  Where is the plan in this?  Where’s the kingdom? 

On the one hand, I believe God says, “Sit down; shut up; hang on.”  That applies more to the overall situation.  Remember the end of John’s Gospel, where Peter asks, “Lord, what about this man?” (John 21:21), and Jesus replies, “…[W]hat is that to you?  You follow Me! 

Yet the Lord had just spoken to Peter of what he would do and even how he would die following his Master.  God always seems willing enough to speak with us and reveal to us those things that we need to know.  He will give us the visions and the dreams that will motivate and encourage and prepare us for the work to which we are called.  He assures, and He reassures.  He listens to us, and He responds to our cries for mercy, help, grace, and strength. 

The relationship between God and man is not one sided.  We are not merely tools in His hands, but sons and daughters working cooperatively and creatively.  I would like to think that, once in a while, maybe once in a lifetime, I might do something Good without being told to.  I think that would make God smile.     


julie said...

Yes, I should think it would.

mushroom said...

Like that Harry Connick, Jr. song says, We're gonna get there.