I am the clay

 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV

 

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I am the clay.

Endless potential, but not in my own hands.

Only in His.

He is the Potter.

The One who will shape me.

The Potter is making me into something He can use.

When I resist, I am hard and rocky, rough-edged – not useful for anything.

If left on my own, my boundaries would be shaped by my way, my plan, my ambition.

If I decide to be a bowl, giving no thought to the Potter, I will twist and warp myself into a very sorry, misshapen bowl, formed by my own ideas, worth nothing.

I do not have the hands of the Potter, the unlimited design skills and intricate plans He alone possesses.

Only when I offer to Him the clay that I am, can He knead and bend and shape me into a vessel He can use.

Everything that happens to me in this life is part of His molding process.

Sometimes He’s deeply kneading me and then decisively throwing me on the potter’s wheel to get rid of my cold, hard, sharp places.

But sometimes His touch is gentle, soulful, as He carefully smooths out my rough spots, while protectively guarding the unique shape He’s forming.

Both the tough and the tender are necessary, if I want to be a useable vessel of worth.

For this is His best.

This, the only way.

Because He is the Potter.

And I am the clay.

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Eph. 2:10 NIV

 

Today is a GOOD day!

Natalie

This post was originally emailed as A Simple Note. If you’d like to receive my weekly email note of encouragement, you can sign up on the side bar or  HERE. Blessings!

All the things that matter…

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
~ Matt. 6:19-21 NIV

One lesson I’m learning through this quarantine: there is always room for the things that really matter.

During these months I’ve not been frantically busy, rushing to meetings, running out to lunch and quickly ducking in the store. Instead, I’ve found quiet. I’ve lingered over my morning time with the Father. I’ve emailed and texted and talked on the phone without interruptions pushing in on me.

In these moments, for you and for me, we are reminded of how much people matter.

Conversations with those around us are less hurried. Family movie night is relaxed. Easy dinners are enjoyed outside.

And when a need arises, we’re available to fill it. Our whole schedule doesn’t need to be reorganized because we’re free to jump in and help.

Here’s the big question:

How can we take this with us when quarantine ends; these lessons in priority and availability – the things that really matter?

Maybe we could lessen our frantic busyness. Shopping could be done only once a week. Pizza and a movie night or date night take-out could become a weekly occurrence. We could send more cards, keep in touch, linger over conversations, celebrate the little things in life.

When all of this social distancing and shelter-in-place ends, I believe we’ll be different people, and in a good way.

Maybe we’ll have learned that there’s always room for the things that really matter.

Lord Jesus, we are weary from this virus. We admit that it scares us and sometimes it seems to shake our faith. We are burdened by what we see on TV, what we hear from government leaders, what we feel as people die in mass numbers, yet all alone. And with the loosening of restrictions, we are anxious in a new way. We need the kind of rest that only You can give us, peaceful rest for our minds and our hearts in this time and space. We so want to trade our yoke for Yours, that You would lead us; that we could learn to be more like You. Guide us to gentleness and humility during days when we feel vulnerable and frantic and fear-filled. Show us how to carry the burdens of others by the strength that comes from You. We need You – oh, we need you. Every day, every hour, every minute, we need You. Thank you, Jesus, for answering our prayers. Amen.


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
~ Matt. 11:28-30 NIV

Enjoy all the things that matter –
today is a good day!

~ Natalie

 

A Holy Week Prayer

Oh Jesus,

so much of me
seeks just
a bit of You,
to tentatively touch
the outer hem of Your garment,
to be
somehow filled
with Your never-ending love
and mercy
and grace.

But today I cannot see even Your hem.

All around me instead are
images of an indifferent disease
that is making us
a scared and sick
and dying people.

I feel helpless.
So disabled
and weak.

I know that, apart from You,
I am nothing.

In my despair, I turn away
when Your open arms
beckon me,

Come.

I am afraid.

How I long to fall
into the protection You offer!
I would willingly drown
in the peace
of all that is You.

Come. Come. Come.

You
who endured the cross
meant for me.

You
who embraced the disgrace
that was mine.

You
who bore the beating
and the ridicule
and the humiliation.

You
who once and forever
triumphed over
every ailment and disease,
and the death
of this world.

Come.

Do You earnestly invite me?

To the foot of Your cross?

To Your grave that lies open and empty?

Then I will not settle
for the slight touch of your hem,
for I can no longer be satisfied
with only
the tiniest bit of You.

I will lay down all of myself
at the foot of Your cross.
I will search with everything I have
until I find Your empty tomb.

And then,
oh then…
I will run with abandon
into Your flung-wide arms.

All

of

me

running

to

all

of

You.

My Savior and my God.

Amen and Amen.

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I am the resurrection and the life. 
He who believes in Me,
though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
~ John 11:25-26 NKJV

We live by faith, not by sight.

~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

Though our celebration of Easter this year will look different, feel different, be different, our God is NEVER DIFFERENT. And Jesus’s death on the cross, His resurrection and our salvation do not change. May our praise to God this Easter be more earnest, more heart-felt, more passionate than ever before because we know this…

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!


Live by faith in the One who does not change –
today is a good day!

~ Natalie