Molded Into Perfection
Yesterday I was helping my daughter's youth group bake pies for a fundraiser. As we began to make the pie dough I discovered that a couple of the moms did not know how to make and roll out dough. So a teaching moment for them turned into a devotional moment for me.
One of the moms was trying really hard to make the crust roll out perfectly and precisely. This whole process was frustrating her and causing her to want to give up.
I assured her that pie dough was very forgiving and could be fixed with a little water and re-shaping. I also reassured her that at the end of the cooking process the pie would be beautiful.
At that moment God reminded me of how He takes the imperfect mass of our broken and shapeless lives and molds them into His perfection. When the water of the Holy Spirit is applied to our lives we are softened and become pliable in the Master's hands.
Isaiah 64:8 NLT "And yet, O Lord , you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand."
When we submit our lives to be molded, shaped and perfected into the work of His hands at the end of the process we will be beautiful!
In 2nd Corinthians 4:7 Paul tells us that we have a treasure in earthen vessels. That great treasure is God's power and glory perfected by the pressing, sometimes perplexing circumstances that come at us. He will use the persecution and times when we fall down to mold us.
When we fail, God is forgiving. When we become frustrated at the imperfections of our lives, He reminds us that if we trust and allow Him, He will fix us.
When He is glorified in all our perfecting processes, then it is indeed beautiful and perfect in the end!
My Daddy’s Voice
At a writer’s meeting we were challenged to write about a sound or smell that takes me back to childhood. I struggled with what to write?
What smell brought remembrances?
Maybe the smell of fresh lemons at the supermarket reminded me of summers spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Grandpa would let us “sneak” fresh fruit from his lemon tree without Grandma knowing about it. But really the sights would cause a flood of memories, not the smell.
Was there a special sound that had significance to me? Not a particular sound but many brief sounds came to mind.
A horse whinnying reminds me of the ponies we rode when we lived on the farm. The sounds of summer baseball games bring a myriad jumble of memories of times spent at the park next door to the house in town.
I remember sitting at my window watching the games and wondering about my adult life. I often wondered where I was headed and felt the impatient constraints of being “too” young.
But smells, sights, and sounds many times bring a memory to the surface of my mind that is not pleasant but painful. There are memories of failures, memories of times of inadequacy felt so strongly. There are strong memories that flood the soul, the mind and spirit and for a brief time leave you feeling the emotions all over again.
But I believe the most influencing sound of my life is my Daddy’s voice.
The instant that I hear my Daddy speak, I have an idea of the mood he is in or how he is feeling. Many times in my life I could know what was going on just by listening to Dad.
The booming sound of my name most certainly let me know that I had incurred his anger. Fortunately there were not any times when the anger turned to wrath.
Daddy’s voice is rich in tone and inflection. He used to sing the bass parts of hymns at church and I loved to hear daddy sing those low keys. That same low tone would gently correct me for having done something wrong.
Momma would tell Daddy to lower his voice because he was too loud. Maybe it’s from years of speaking over a rebellious teenage daughter’s blaring music or the sounds of brother and sister fighting over who is right? Many times Daddy had to compete with the distractions of our busy lives.
I know when I have disappointed Daddy because of the tone of his voice. There is a distinct quietness and calmness in his voice. Looking back over the years I am deeply grieved by the feeling that many times I did disappoint my Dad.
I’ve heard the deep sadness in his voice as he brought sorrowful news of loved ones passing away. The comforting tone used during those times of pain in my own personal life. And the hopeful tone when encouraging me to press on during times of trial.
Where Mom used words to convey to us her thoughts, feelings and actions, Daddy used his tone of voice.
I loved to talk to Mom because she was articulate and challenged me to grow intellectually. Talking with Daddy allows me to let my creativity and emotions flow.
When Dad is happy or feeling well, we sit for hours chatting about many things and nothing in particular. As I’ve grown older I realize the important things that Daddy has to tell me.
Lately I have begun to realize that it is the same with our Daddy God, Abba Father.
As I listen to my Daddy God, I learn the same aptitude for discerning what each tone my attitude and actions has prompted.
The parallels between those times in my life when I perceived the tone of my earthly father and when I should have had that same perception of my heavenly father remind me to strive toward developing a deeper recognition of His voice.
Just as Daddy used the tone of his voice, my Daddy God uses many things to speak to me. He speaks to me through His Word, through His Spirit and through experiences.
Maybe God uses the booming voice of correction when I’ve done wrong. And I pray I never incur the wrath of God.
He speaks encouragement in the calm stillness of His Spirit to me during those times of trial. There is much encouragement found in His Word when life has overwhelmed me with sadness and pain.
I appreciate those times when the Holy Spirit prompts me to spend time in prayer. And during prayer as I talk and listen, God releases within my spirit the creativity and challenges me to grow.
I believe the most important decision after accepting Christ we make should be to develop an intimate relationship with Daddy God that only comes by listening to Him and talking to Him daily, minute by minute.
It is in my heart, where the emotions of my soul reside, that I thrill to hear my Daddy say “I love you daughter”.
But words cannot describe what it means to me when my Daddy God quietly yet gently says to me, “I love you daughter.”
Lynn Jones, Co-Founder of HHMI enjoys reading, studying and sharing God's Word. She believes that every Word in the Bible is Holy Spirit inspired and profitable for daily living. Her prayer is that as you read the newsletters and blogs, that you will be enriched and equipped for every good work of the Lord's.