You know something I am slowly learning?
I’m slowly learning that God does a work in me and it takes time. It doesn’t just happen all at once like I’d like it too.
I’ve believed and been a follower of Jesus for a long time. But I also stayed a baby in my faith for a long time too. Longer than I should’ve for sure. I was missing out on things like relationship and how much a part of my life God wants to be and learning to bring everything to Him. Sometimes, I shake my head at myself. My life is basically half over and I’m just slowly starting to get it. The older I get the less I think I know or have things figured out. When I was younger I had these great dreams and ideas. Back before I’d journeyed the path. I “knew how” before I did it.
I’ve noticed that as I keep my focus on Him, get back up when I fail and start in again, that He keeps slowly chipping away and doing a work in me. I think it’s taken me so long to get this because I want it all right now. I want to be kinder now. I want to be more loving now. I want the deep abiding joy in every circumstance now. I want to be able to forgive easily now. I want to understand it all now. I want patience now. Now, now now. I admit, waiting is not an easy thing and I do not like it.
I look back at prayers that God has answered in my life and they show me. I read stories in the Bible and they tell me. God’s timetable is so different than my timetable. God doesn’t need to hurry. Most great works of art, most construction projects, most machinery overhauls take time and precision and a skilled workman. They aren’t thrown together now.
I look at the ways God has answered some of the prayers poured out from my heart. Many times not at all in the way I would’ve pictured and often not on the timetable I would’ve laid out. But it’s all so good. He knows. So why I am I so often grasping for it back? Wanting control? Crying out, “God are you sure? Do you really know what you’re doing? Wouldn’t this be better? Why must I wait? Look over there-they didn’t have to wait.”
And I start the comparison game. “She’s so much better than I am.” “They must be much better Christians and more deserving.” “Wow, they sure don’t have any troubles in their life.” “I’d love to have her self-discipline and perseverance.” “She’s so talented and I’m so..not.” “Whew, glad I’m not like them.” “I can’t imagine what they were thinking.” “I’m not perfect, but at least I can pat myself on the back about that.” From one extreme to another, and so it goes. And the old, ugly enemy sits back and relishes it.
But that enemy? He’s not going to win! The Great Craftsman keeps working and molding and growing me. And I am changing to become more like Him, slowly, slowly. This saying sums it up, “I’m not what I want to be, but praise God, I’m not what I used to be.
We sang a song in second grade that went like this.
There really ought to be a sign upon my heart,
Don’t judge me yet, there’s an unfinished part,
But I’ll be perfect just according to His plan,
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hand.
He’s still working on me,
To make me what I ought to be,
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars,
How loving and patient He must be,
He’s still working on me.
The mirror of my heart, Reflections that I see,
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me,
He loves me as I am, he even hears me when I pray,
Remember He’s the Potter, I’m the clay.
The last line says it all.
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
A message came to me from the Lord. He said, “Go down to the potter’s house. I will give you my message there.” So I went down to the potter’s house. I saw him working at his wheel. His hands were shaping a pot out of clay. But he saw that something was wrong with it. So he formed it into another pot. He shaped it in the way that seemed best to him.
I am thankful I’m the clay. I am thankful I have a Father that knows all and sees all. I am thankful that my Abba loves me more than I can ever think and imagine. I am thankful He has plans for me and He knows what they are and He has it all laid out on His time. I am thankful that He has promised me a hope and a future. I’m thankful that I am slowly learning. I’ll take all of this any day over my demands of now.