OK, hopefully that title didn't throw you off…
Maybe it would help if I *subtitled* it, "Mrs. Clay talks to Mr. Potter" – as in God is the potter, and I am the clay.
So, here's what I've been thinking about prayer.
There are many small things that I pray about – let's call them the *peanut* petitions. And then, there's a few big things that I pray about – let's call those the big *coconut* prayers.
Like a revival of faith in certain members of my family.
Like purpose and direction for others.
Like salvation for someone close to me.
Like increased faith in my own life.
So, I've been praying these prayers. Prayers that come from my "gut," so to speak – prayers that I agonize over, plead with God about –
Big prayers – big hopes.
And as you can probably tell (evidently I wear my heart on my sleeve even in Blog Land) – I've been having struggles and trials and testing lately.
Yes, the other day, Mrs. Clay (that would be me) had a few things to say to Mr. Potter (that would be God).
"Lord, You know the things I've been praying about. The big things. The things that I know would be in Your will. Things having to do with faith, and I know You want to answer those kinds of prayers. So, why all the trouble? What's going on?"
Hidden message – "I don't get it."
But, as I pondered, a truth began to bubble up inside of me. I realized that I am praying for results – for the answers to these prayers. I am focused on the future positive resolution of these prayers. And I'm more than a little dismayed at the not-so-positive things that are happening along the way.
In other words, I want results – AND I want to tell God how to achieve those results.
I have not been praying for trials. I have not asked for struggles. I'm not so comfortable in the refining fire – and neither are the people that I'm praying about.
Mr. Potter had this to say about that:
"Sharon, this is what you've been praying about – just exactly these things."
"Yes, Lord," replied Mrs. Clay, "but this isn't what I had in mind."
Pause – moment of truth – as in, I am about to learn the Truth.
"Sharon, I hear your prayers. And I know what you want. But, I am working out the end result in MY way and in MY time. You have to trust Me for the means – for the methods I choose to accomplish My answers to your prayers. You have to trust that I know the BEST way to answer those prayers."
I thought He might say something like that.
And yet, this time it didn't sound like something that made me angry or resentful or ignored. It did not sound condescending. It sounded kind and patient. It sounded compassionate. It sounded like Someone Big talking to someone small who just wasn't capable of understanding it all…
It sounded like Love.
You know, I used to not like these verses in Isaiah:
"He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it…'The potter who made me is stupid?'" (Isaiah 29:16)
I never much liked these verses because they made God seem arbitrary and arrogant. They made Him seem like a crazed guy at a potter's wheel, flinging clay here and there willy-nilly. They made Him seem cruel somehow…
Oh, the lie in that thinking, huh?!
Here's where the father of lies is so devious. He makes us think that God doesn't know what He’s doing, or that He's doing something that is wrong and mean.
The enemy wants us to either see God as an incompetent doofus, or an evil despot. Either extreme is TOTALLY false, and counter-productive to faith.
The truth is this:
"And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)
Mrs. Clay wants results – answered prayers.
Mr. Potter will answer prayers HIS way – He will take care of the means.
We (read I) must never forget that God is Sovereign – and He always, always works with a purpose – a loving purpose that works all things together for good.
When I don't understand the means – I can trust that God does – and His choices are good.
All the time.
Mrs. Clay is silenced before the throne of Mr. Potter – but it's a good silence. It is a silence of awe and respect – of total worship for the One who loves her – and all those people she is praying for…
Some final verses that have been so comforting:
"I realized that no one can discover everything that God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people can discover everything, no matter what they claim." (Ecclesiastes 8:17)
"'My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,' says the LORD. 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'" (Isaiah 55:8-9)
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." (Ephesians 3:17)
Are you trusting God with the coconut prayers??
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"