Monday, August 1, 2011


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 Sovereignand 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 respectof total worship for the One who loves herand 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!"


  1. Sharon. Great post! And yes, I have been lobbing some coconut prayers myself, while my son is in bed for three months following a really tough surgery, and I am staying with him to do the fetching and carrying.

    Don't we always hope that "answers" will come pre-packaged with just "heat and serve" directions. All this pain and anguish is really inconvenient. :)

  2. Excellent post, friend. (As always.) I have actually always loved the verse in Isaiah - it's very humbling. Apparently, I need to be taken down a few notches from time to time and that verse always puts me in my place. *I* can't tell *God* what to do.

    I'm truly sorry for your trials of late, and you are in my prayers.

    Even in our trials, there is hope though. God has a plan - and though we may think we have a hand in that, God determines our steps. ;)

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

    There is a reason for it all. Thank God His plan is bigger and better than our own. Hang in there. ~big hugs~

  3. Oh Sharon, I can certainly relate to this one girl. I'm guilty of picking up the coconuts and clinging onto them all too tight. But our God can handle it all!

  4. Thanks Sharon for WISE WORDS well spoken and written!

    (This is just a quick note...I sent myself this one to ponder and remember)! Thank You Mr. Potter for Mrs. Clay! You, our dear POTTER hold ALL in Your BIG hands and we trust You for the results and WAIT on YOU GOD, for Your Divine Wisdom, spoken and read... as we WAIT in awe before Your Throne, dependent on You. Resigned, surrendered, humble pieces of clay, watching and waiting for the whole works to be complete in You! Molded and changed by Your Holy Spirit refining us, breaking us, and refiring us. Potter, You are Ultimate Supreme Creator and we are clay in Your hands, trusting the Work, the Finished Project(s) are Yours. We are Yours! Thank You... "mold me, melt me..." I belong to the work of Your hands as much as those I lift to You, to Your Throne with trust *that's complete confidence)... and the prayers of my dear Mrs. Clay!

  5. I'm really grateful for your tender big heart. You are very precious, Mrs. Clay. I, too, will keep on trusting in the compassionate responses to my pleas, my big and little prayers. I am so like you in every word and in between the lines. At least I felt that way in this post. Thanks for sharing your heart, dear Sharon.
    You pray for me? and I'll pray for you:)
    And thanks so much for linking up.

  6. Peanut prayers and coconut prayers. I like that. I also tend to hold up my coconut prayers to God for some explanation of the "process". I confessed as much to you in my recent email.

    What's up with that, God? I just don't get it.

    He keeps reminding me that I don't need to *get* his ways. I just need to trust them.

    Wonderful and convicting post, from one lump of clay to another.

    "When I don't understand the means – I can trust that God does – and His choices are good."

  7. Well, this lump of clay needs a lot of shaping.

    Sharon - so many of your posts of late reflect what has been on my heart. Sometimes I wonder if you haven't crawled inside my head. :) I too tend to grab onto the coconut prayers and want them answered right away rather than waiting upon God to answer in His timing.

    Inspiring post, as always.

  8. We should be careful for what we pray for - we may get it!

  9. Hi Sharon -

    You expressed, "When I don't understand the means – I can trust that God does – and His choices are good.

    "All the time."

    That speaks volumes. I concur...

    Thank you for this meaningful and helpful piece.

  10. "Mrs. Clay wants results – answered prayers" This both cracked me up and made me teary eyed. It is me too...sometimes trusting, always impatient. Another great thought provoving post.

  11. Molding and Pruning -- our thoughts seemed to collide. Whether God is cutting or shaping we seem to grow.

  12. Amazing the trials he may put us thru to help us grow and become closer to him and isn't that what we all want is to feel close to God. Wonderful blog. Hugs Carrie

  13. Dear ones,

    Mrs. Clay sends you all a very sincere thank-you for your comments - it's good to know that I'm not the only *lump* out there!

    Though it is a difficult process to be kneaded and molded by the Potter - it's wonderful to know that He cares about us enough to make us into something beautiful. And trust me, we need His kneading!!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)