Donna Carter reveals insight on becoming soft and yielded, as clay to the potter. May this blog help you on your journey with our Father, the potter, and launch you into an amazing new year!
Nelson Mandela has long been a hero of mine. On a flight to South Africa five years ago, I read Mandela’s lengthy auto-biography, Long Walk to Freedom. The context the book provided made my speaking tour there fascinating. I recognized the street and building names as comrades and prison mates of the great man.
Recently, as I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about his redemptive life, I can’t help but think of parallels with the life of Joseph. Both began as young, arrogant men with big dreams. Both suffered hardship as the result of convictions they couldn’t deny. Both spent years in the crucible of prison and both emerged with a 24 carat character and the moral authority to lead. There is one other thing they share: Joseph and Mandela chose forgiveness and reconciliation over vengeance once power was in their hands. They allowed the hardships of prison to bring out the best in them, harnessing passion into self-discipline and distilling frustration into patience. But most importantly, refining anger into love.
As a result, Joseph saved a nation and his own family from starvation. Mandela saved his nation from bloodshed. Both left a legacy of grace.
When we enter a new year, we tend to do it with optimism and hope. We plan to lose weight and save money, have a regular quiet time and work out, then eat sensibly and travel. It’s going to be better than last year.
We should set goals to accomplish noble things. But in many cases, we have no control over our health or wealth. We can’t avert economic recessions or corporate restructuring any more than we can prevent a tragic accident or diagnosis. We can’t control the infidelity of a spouse or the betrayal of friends.
What we can do is allow even the huge injustices of life to make us compliant clay in the Potter’s hands. We can determine that whatever comes our way in 2014, we will humbly submit to our Father’s leadership in our lives and allow him to use all things to mould us into the likeness of Jesus. He does this for the good of our family, our church, our nation and our world. He is still in the business of restoration. He still tenaciously twists every cruel plan of the enemy into a redemptive outcome. God will never waste our pain or our tears. If we will let him, He will use them to lead us to our place of highest influence and fulfillment.
Lay your hopes and plans for 2014 at the feet of your Father. Consciously submit to his will in all your relationships and endeavours. And claim his promise:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28 NLT