I really enjoy making and decorating cakes. I find it to be fun, frustrating and creative all at the same time. I surprise myself sometimes as well on how they turn out. I was working on decorating a cake for a birthday today and I began thinking about the verse in Isaiah 64:8 that says, “But now, O Lord, thou art our father, we are the clay, and thou our potter: such that we all are the work of thy hands.” (JUB). I began by baking a cake and making tasty filling and frosting. I chose to make a delicious cake with that wonderful homemade taste. I stacked the cakes with yummy filling and then spread the frosting over the whole thing. I could have left it as is. It would taste delicious. But I then began to work on smoothing out the frosting until I felt it looked good. I then rolled out fondant and began to cut shapes to decorate the cake with pretty flowers and a ribbon. I wanted to make sure it looked pretty as well as tasted good. I realized that God not only takes the time to make us. He also takes the time to mold us, shape us, fill us up with His Spirit, blessings, love, etc. but also takes the time make all that is on the inside show forth. We are made in His image after all.
I have posted before about surrendering to God. I think as the clay in God’s hands, we don’t really have much of a say in what He wants to do with us. The cake and the frosting had no say in what I did with them. I used them as I willed. They did not argue or say no. They didn’t try to convince me to do it differently. They obeyed.
How often do we forget to submit to the His shaping and molding?
I think for myself, I often forget that God has only my best interest in mind. In 1 Samuel 15:22 Samuel explained to Saul that obedience was better than sacrifice. God asks that we trust him enough to obey him. He wants obedience to His will. In Psalms 81:15 it says “Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him, and their time of punishment would be forever.” I don’t want to pretend to be obedient. I don’t want to be partially obedient. I want to be all in, fully trusting, fully propelled by God and what He wants for me. If we love Him, we will keep his commandments. 1 John 5:3 It is not about just doing a bunch of stuff for God. It is about loving him so much, we want nothing more than to be with him, do for him, express to him how much we love him. I know that I love my husband so much. I do for him many things just because I love him and want to show him how much but what I do and how I treat him. I want my actions to be an expression of my love for him. How much more should I express my love for my Savior by what I do for him. By giving him complete trust and surrender. By allowing him to take control of my life and giving him complete and utter devotion. Even when I don’t see the reason, or the big picture, I still need to allow him to shape, mold and chip away the things he sees are no longer needed or need to change.
I remember watching a master woodcarver one time working with a piece of wood. It started out all misshapen and bumpy. He began to use his tools and worked and worked to carve, cut and sand. It was interesting when he came across a spot that looked like an area of rot and ruin. How could he work around this blemish in the wood? He began to work with that area. He didn’t remove it, He used it. It became part of the ultimate finished product. He lovingly saw something in the wood that was only revealed by working, shaping, carving and sanding. He used what some would have thought ruined the wood and made it a feature that caused great beauty in his finished product. A product that became quite beautiful and worth much in price.
I think we sometimes see in ourselves or others a flaw or blemish. We think how can this ever be used of God? How can I be used with this great problem in my life? I will never be any good for God to use! But God sees the outcome. He sees what will be when we give ourselves over completely into the potters’ hands. He can make something of beauty, something of worth, something only He can use for His glory and for His kingdom.
I also realized as I was decorating, that at times, I would use a decoration to hide a mistake or a flaw. God doesn’t hide our flaws. He uses them at times to be our greatest testimony. He uses them because in our weakness His strength is perfect 2 Corinthians 12:9. He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). He will be glorified in us, through us and in spite of us.
I want to submit to His will, I want to be that clay he is molding and shaping for His purpose. Without complaint, without protest, only trust and obedience in His master plan. Make me, mold me, use me. Inside and out.