Surrendering to the Potter
Today's Treasure: Read Isaiah 29:16 and 45:11-12, and 64:8
In those early years of motherhood, I had no idea that God would use my mini-blind-shredding firstborn as a tool in His hands to accomplish radical heart surgery in me. I was too busy telling God what I thought He should change about my son to notice that He was using my own son to change me (we’ll explore that brilliant irony of parenthood more in week four!) As my vivacious toddler grew and his personality emboldened, he moved from shredding mini blinds to shredding the feelings of his sensitive sister, the grass left in his wake as he raced across the yard, and my own ideas of what a godly household should like. The more Lukas’s identity developed, the more I discovered to dislike. I found his strong will overbearing, his competitive spirit exhausting, his lack of compassion disturbing and his argumentative discourse discouraging. My parenting tactics focused on trying to tame his spirit and harness his will and begging God to do something about the child He’d given me.
I constantly gave God advice on how He could “improve’ Luke. Could you just temper his energy a bit, Lord--make him less competitive or a bit more compromising? How about kinder--could you make him kinder? Or just a little quieter? I’ll take quiet. If he can’t be kind, can we just keep him quiet? The suggestions continued until one day the Lord responded to my pleas.
The day had been a draining one; I'd felt more like a referee rather than a mother. By noon, Lukas’s competitive edge had reduced his little sister to tears. “I’m NOT RACING!” she had insisted as her brother taunted her at lunchtime with the suggestion of a a peanut-butter-sandwich-eating relay. By evening, my tears matched my little girl's. When the house was finally quiet,I collapsed on the couch, convinced once again that God had given me the wrong child.
“Lord, can’t you change him?” I pleaded as I listed off Lukas’s annoying character traits. When God failed to appear with a modified child in hand, I reluctantly picked up His word. I had just begun to seek first when God responded to my chronic whining. “…Do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it…” (Isaiah 45:11-12a NIV).
I felt a pang of shame. Over the next several weeks, God led me through a variety of scripture, each bearing the same theme. After much prayer and introspection, I realized the disturbing truth: I had been telling the Potter how to shape his own clay (Isaiah 64:8 NIV).
A mother's greatest act of faith is surrendering her children to the Potter. Have you placed your children into the Potter's hands, or are you still trying to squeeze them into a mold of your own creation? This week, let's make Isaiah 64:8 our ‘battle cry’ of faith.
Parent’s Pondering: What pieces of my children have I wished were different? About what do I most often complain to God when it comes to my children’s design? Confess those complaints as ingratitude and shortsightedness.
Then pray Isaiah 64:8, inserting your children’s names in the blanks to personalize God’s word. End the scripture prayer with your own transfer of control. “And yet, O LORD, you are _____’s Father. _____ is the clay, and you are the potter. _____ is formed by your hand." Show me how to surrender this child to you, God; for you are the Perfect Potter and I am an imperfect parent.