When you’re all I see
Oh how you won’t define me, calamity
With the refusal to ruin me,
Oh how I’ll overcome you, capacity
The oppressing blanket
You’re not going to see the end of me, finality
Because really, the profanity, the opacity you bring me is but a cavity
But I contain the resilience to patiently focus on the Heavenlies in the midst of a tragedy
Knowing it’s all woven into my life’s tapestry
Oh how beautiful the vulnerability of a fragile heart held in the hands of the Father, security.
On an autumn evening I find myself here again. In a pensive moment where my thoughts finally have permission to somehow work themselves out. Although time has graced me with such an opportunity, I’ve found myself in an all too familiar place of reflection and I come across thoughts that leave me with an unfamiliar disposition that I can’t quite acquaint myself with.
Have you ever had a moment where you realise you’re now an adult? You now have responsibility, you’re building a life and an environment for yourself that will one day define you, what you live for and why you live for it. Being an adolescent you had two options when a crisis would emerge, you either dealt with it or you didn’t. When I was a teen and a problem arose and, for whatever reason, I chose not to face it, I would say the phrase “talk to the hand” it was in refusal to what someone or something was trying to say or do.
I was driving home a few weeks ago and in the middle of a discussion about life and it’s unpredictable nature, the painful times when we really have to rely on the grace of God, my brother said those times are like dints in clay and God just has to smooth them out.
The Bible’s way of saying this is;
"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel."
When we go through times that don’t make sense (to us) would we find ourselves talking to the hand, the potters hand. This is a different hand to that of a young dismissive adolescent, it’s a hand that wants to actively participate in the shaping and the structure of our lives. It’s the hand that wants to rebuild the broken parts and strengthen the damaged areas.
In times of loss, rejection or deep sorrow be comforted that God never takes His hands off you or your situation. As a potter is always forming and handling the creation, so God does with you. He never takes His hands away from you, never refuses you. There’s not a situation too broken to be fixed and there’s never a moment when He’s disappointed with His creation.
In the brave words of Elisabeth Elliot “God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful, severe mercies at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better”.
Whatever those “refusals” represent in your life, whatever state of confusion you find yourself in as a result of those refusals, be comforted that God’s story never ends there. We may plan our course but the Lord determines our steps - which is to say, “rest easy”.
And as my thoughts draw to a close, as the night rests and prepares itself for another day ahead, let me leave you with another quote from Elisabeth Elliot “leave it in the hands that were wounded for you”.
Leave it in the potters hands.
And if you too find yourself on an autumn night, reflecting and trying to acquaint yourself to an unfamiliar situation which is has all of a sudden become your reality, talk to the (potters) hand. He cares, He knows and He will never let you go.
A few nights ago I was driving past my favourite spot near my parent’s house. It’s a lake, near a castle. The sky was clear and the moon was bright demonstrating its subtle beauty.
I drove past the lake and was surprised at how well it reflected the night’s sky as if it was doing it a favour.
The way water reflects the sky is a beautiful thing and I found myself thinking about reflections and reactions. Again.
What am I reflecting and how do I react?
The main denominator about the image isn’t the water and it isn’t the sky. It’s the wind. The thing you don’t see which affects the combination of it all. When the wind blows everything changes, the water creates a distorted picture of what it was attempting to reflect and the calm turns into something slightly chaotic.
And how undignified and how vulnerable the water looks when the wind blows.
So going back to the question, what’s our reaction? In hard times, in the times when we feel so easily shaken and easily moved, what’s our response?
I watched a preach a few days ago named after the Bel Biv Devoe song ‘That Girl is Poison’. It explains how we can all have things in our life which can be destructive and eat away at us and try to define us. But they don’t have to define us – our reaction can stop that.
What am I reflecting?
I’ve recently worn myself out in striving to be perfect. Unfortunately and realistically, that’s never going to happen.
All I can do is acknowledge who I’m reflecting.
When the winds blow and do their best to affect where I’m at, I find myself drenched in the grace of God. Again.
The view I saw the other night by the lake made me aware of God’s grace and how it’s His power which is made perfect in my weakness. And how in the ugliness of our brokenness, He makes us look beautiful once again.
And that’s ok.
And that’s healing.
In our weakness, His love is strong. In our failure, He has overcome. In our poverty, He has provided. And in our emptiness, our striving and our lack of clarity, He reigns.
He is consistent.
His love wins.
And so be encouraged, remember that Jesus reigns. His love is mightier than any gust of wind which tries to knock us of our feet.
Walk with confidence.
And reflect the beautiful grace which Jesus so freely gives us.