We like things to be whole and complete in our lives. We feel a sense of damage and loss when they are not complete.
Life can be like the smooth glass of a windshield on a car – we can be going along the expressway at a good clip and everything is fine, yet in one quick moment a small stone of inconsequence is kicked up and smashes into the windshield leaving a chip and a crack. Our wholeness is gone, we are scarred and broken, and if we do not fix it right away the damage becomes greater with cracks and breaks, our windshield is worthless.
I wondered around in my life like that broken and cracked windshield, longing to be filled and whole – needing to be happy. I placed my hope in many things, I also became discouraged and felt hopeless, downcast. One day – actually the day my dear brother Scott died (the last member of my immediate family) – I put my total life and trust in God. I’ve been a person of faith for a very long time, but I still felt the need to be at the rudder, in control. Placing my trust in Him was a bit out of my comfort zone. After all, I am a Type A take-charge sort of person.
God began to shape me and mold me. It’s taken time, and according to my timetable it is slow, painfully slow. He is shaping me, just like the potter shapes the clay on the wheel before it is fired into a beautiful piece of art. To become a useful vessel we have to let Him have control. He refines, molds, sculpts, and fashions me. In fact he continues to whittle me so much so that I wonder if He would ever run out of material (knowing me, it’s really not likely). He took to me to the point where I felt that there was no place to go. I hung on and trusted (but not without many tears and sleepless nights).
A friend told me at the time that I needed to be patient and grateful for the time in the wilderness. The book of Psalms became almost my constant companion, especially Psalm 91:4-5, 9-10, 14-15 and Psalm 94:14, 22. While in the middle of the trial it’s so very hard to be patient and yes, it can be hard to trust also. But I learned more during that wilderness experience than I learned in most of my life before.
Finally, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I moved from an immense dark wilderness into bright sunlight and blessings, so many blessings. I moved from a season of heavy winter and emerged into bright warm spring. My life was fresh and I was rewarded like Job. God gave me back more than I could have ever imagined.
While I did not understand why I was experiencing all the things that I was going through at the time, when I look back I can see His hand in every step along the way. He was setting things in motion, maneuvering everything into their proper place for the appointed time. I am thankful for His guidance, patience and love.
And He continues molding and shaping me each and every moment of each and every day.
“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,” (Psalm 91:4-5, ESV)
“Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place- the Most High, who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.” (Psalms 91:9-10, ESV)
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. (Psalms 91:14, ESV)When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” (Psalms 91:14-15, ESV)
“For the LORD will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;” (Psalms 94:14, ESV)
“But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.” (Psalms 94:22, ESV)
Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” ESV.