DayBreaks for 7/14/16 – The Squeeze of God’s Hand
From the DayBreaks Archive, July 2006:
Many of us have been conditioned to think of God as a doting Parent whose function is to shield us from unpleasant circumstances. No wonder we’re disappointed. – Helen Grace Lescheid, “The Place of Acceptance”, Discipleship Journal, Issue 60
Why do we get mad at God when there are hard times in life? When you think about it, a parent isn’t tasked with keeping children from unpleasant circumstances in spite of what many today seem to believe. A parent is supposed to teach children how to live with and through both pleasant and unpleasant circumstances because both are part and parcel of life. Unpleasant things can either knock us off kilter or teach us about what to avoid. A parent who never lets their child experience the negative consequences of inappropriate behavior is a parent who is failing to teach their child that sin has consequences.
That doesn’t mean that those circumstances are fun. But perhaps it will help you to think of them in the same way that Helen Lescheid described them in Issue 76 of Discipleship Journal: Sometimes trouble or hardship is an indication that the hand of God is on our lives…I sometimes say to myself, ‘The pressure I feel right now is but the squeeze of God’s hands on my life as He’s shaping me.’
I like that. Scripture uses the analogy of the Potter and the clay (Rom. 9:21). The clay cannot be formed without pressure. Sometimes, depending on what the Potter is forming, the pressure comes from without, but sometimes from with – pressing us outward until we take on the shape He wants for us.
If you are feeling pressure in your life right now, try to think about it as the hand of the Master shaping the clay of your life. Rest assured that the Potter doesn’t make junk and doesn’t make mistakes. In spite of any pressure you may feel – if you belong to Christ, you are not a failure and you are not a mistake. You are being formed into a vessel for His use and His glory.
PRAYER: Father, you are the Potter and we are nothing more than clay. Help us to remember that is not for the clay to determine what it should become, to try to dictate to You what You’ve done well or what to make of us. May we yield gracefully, full of loving trust in you, to the gentle pressure of your hands on our life as you shape us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.