For his fourteenth birthday my son wanted the Duck Dynasty Devotional. Only months earlier I had scoffed at the excessive marketing of Duck Dynasty. The Bibles, the key chains, and even the Duck Dynasty Chia Pet.
I went to Barnes and Noble to purchase the devotional.
In a hurry, I rushed to the Christian section tucked back in the farthest corner of the store.
I immediately spotted the devotional, grabbed it mindlessly and turned around. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a cover I recognized.
On the shelves staring at me.
I thought back to the day (really hundreds of days) I couldn’t wait to see it on these shelves. The days I would browse Barnes and Noble and imagine my book there.
As I stood for a moment, the feeling wasn’t a joyful one, but more one of fear. Six copies of the book sat on the shelves.
I wanted to grab them, walk around the store and solicit them to the nearest reader browsing the bestseller table. “Buy this one! Please!” I wanted to yell. “Because if you don’t they will return them, and then I will receive a statement in the mail that tells me not only how many books I didn’t sell but how many were returned!” Then I imagined myself jumping up and down announcing, “Don’t you know how long this thing took. The sacrifice involved in sharing my story! Eight years people!”
I didn’t do any of this. I just stared at my book staring back at me and walked away.
And then, an image came to me that soothed and calmed my extremely anxious heart.
The image of God the potter, his hands dirty with clay, his arms straining to hold me center, and the pads of his fingers pressing into me. Holding me still.
A few weeks ago we ended our summer at Young Life family camp with some of our most beloved friends. I was looking forward to the time where the speaker talks, inspires and encourages us parents as we close the summer and transition back to school. When the speaker came out night after night with a pottery wheel, I was super annoyed. In the world of Christian sermons my eyes usually roll when I hear yet another one about God pruning me like a garden or God as the potter.
Blah blah blah. I know this. I have heard this. I am being pruned. I am like clay. Yeah yeah. Come on, give me something more people. Don’t you know I am a stressed-out-working-mom-of-three-very-active-boys-and-married-to-one-super-adventerous-husband! Throw me a bone.
Night after night the speaker came out with his pottery wheel and simply made pots. Oh God in all His goodness knew exactly the message I needed.
The message that came to me suddenly while standing alone in Barnes and Noble.
God holding me, the clay, holding me tight.
His hands filled with dirt, grime and crusty clay. Holding me and keeping me centered. I wiggle and spin and try to spill out over his hands and he keeps steady. Holding me safe.
He does the same for you.
Take this image and whatever you are going through, whatever is hurting your heart, it is TRUE and REAL.
God is holding you steady.
He has you in his grip. He has got this.
“And I am certain that God who began the good work within you will continue his work utnil it is finally finished on the day when Jesus Christ returns.” – Philippians 1:6 (NLT)