By Jennifer Jeffrey Billington
When I was a child, I was given playdough and model clay to create whatever my imagination stored inside. I enjoyed the moldable dough the first time, but I wanted to keep my creations just as I created them. I knew I wasn’t a talented artist and they weren’t perfect, but it was my creation and I liked them the way I made them. I had wished for harder clay so my creations would last, but my Mama told me that hard clay would be more complicated to use because firing and glazing would be involved and it was costly.
So I accepted creating with the colorful dough, but when I mixed the colors of the playdough together I could not ‘undo the colors’. My dough was mixed together and the color was unrecognizable and I had a big, gray blob of dough that made no sense. It was rather boring now and I ruined my playdough. My model clay never hardened and I could not paint it or make it the way I really wanted it. I stopped playing with re-moldable dough because it was limiting and boring after what I had done.
When I think of the Master and His creation of humans, I think about all that we do to change His creation. We are ever-changing in His design as we grow anyway – but today it seems that we aren’t satisfied with His interesting creation and we mix the colors of the clay until it is unrecognizable.
I am not talking about make up that washes off or earring we can take off or clothes we can put on or off… I am talking about permanently changing our temple in which holds our souls.
Today, tattoos are ‘nothing’ and everybody has one. I followed the crowd years ago and I got a tattoo as well. It wasn’t an impulsive decision because I took time to think about it (seven years) and came up with a design I would be happy with for the rest of my life. I did only get one tattoo and had it placed where it can be covered (unless I wear a two-piece bathing suit), but if I could choose to do it again – I wouldn’t have done it. Because my desires are no longer the same.
Why did I get it? Because at the time it was becoming popular for ladies to have a tattoo, because I was 35 and wanted to still feel young and part of the crowd (whether I admitted it or not) because it was a form of art and I designed it myself, because I was making a statement about my independence…. I could come up with several reasons, but none of which seem important now that I am almost 50 years old.
That is probably the only irreversible thing I have done. Losing my virginity was irreversible and having a baby was irreversible – but this is what God designed for my body. What He did NOT design is for me to permanently mark it up, stuff silicone inside it or cut it off. Luckily, I was smart enough to never do those things.
If my older sister touched my fragile clay creations, it hurt me, but it does not matter to me today. God’s creation matters. He takes the time to put us through the fire. He invest in us – even if it takes time to have each masterpiece come out the way He planned. If we take it upon ourselves to change what we did not like about His creation, we not only disrespect the Master, but we miss what He had planned for us.
When we go our own way and think of ourselves as God (and, that is exactly what we are doing) making all decisions for our lives the way we see fit, we take paths that were not meant for us.
Yes, life is hard. Some of us were not given a structured life with a mother and father in the home showing us by example to live our lives pleasing the Lord.
Some of us had to learn things the hard way, but oh how God loves us anyway! The firing has been long, the chipping away has been painful, but as God’s masterpiece in me is still being developed I trust His plan for me.
Even when I am not happy at the time with what He chooses to chip away, I now can trust His hand, because I have seen Him rescue me from the fire. I finally understand the blueprint in which He planned for my life – though I may not see the big picture as it unfolds in my life – I understand the purpose.
We all like being happy, but that is not my purpose in life and therefore I stopped making decisions based on my happiness, but rather how my choices affect the Kingdom of God. Does what I do represent my Heavenly Father in a good way? Will my choices help others in their walk? Will it harm others in their walk?
Growing up an extrovert who loved attention and shining like a star, I finally learned “it isn’t about me”. Yes, God cares when I hurt or I have been done wrong, but that doesn’t mean I should strive for what will make me happy – because apart from His will, I cannot be continuously happy. Happiness relies on what happens. Joy is inward and can be felt even in sad times.
I may still get sad at times, but I have continuous joy because I have given my heart to the Lord. Not only have I chosen to be a Christ follower but I truly desire His will for my life.
Because I am human, I do not have the vision of God. Oh I try my best to see things the way He does, but He sees ALL and sees a future far beyond what I can comprehend. So I need to trust Him in the small things before me that can sometimes seem so big.
If you feel like you are a mistake – you are not. If you feel like you were supposed to be somebody else – you weren’t. God knew exactly what He has planned for your life and how it will affect His Kingdom. You may think, “That is selfish of God to be concerned only with His kingdom and not my personal life right now. If He isn’t concerned with my happiness then I have to be!” But if you think this – you are humanizing God.
Did you hear me? GOD. The creator. Who am I to change anything He has created? Who am I to decide what is best for me in a world where others will be affected in this world we borrow? We are all here together helping one another in Love.
It is not ours to question the motives of God. We are ALL His creation and if we are truly His – where we have decided to live our lives for Him, then we are not about ourselves and what makes us happy. We are about hearing His voice, answering the call, following His command and going about it.
God’s plan is much bigger than our few years on earth. We aren’t playdough. We are His masterpiece, thrown in the fire, chipped away of what does not glorify Him and created beautifully for a Kingdom in which we are heirs.
Embrace the masterpiece you are and let yourself be displayed in His light, feeling assured that you are everything He created you to be … even though He isn’t finished.
Trust Him with the chisel. He has a blueprint and though it may be hard for you to envision, He will complete each masterpiece that is truly His.
The beauty is … if we have even tried to undo what God is doing and we mixed the clay until there is just a gray blob, God will take the lump of clay we have given back to Him and restore its purpose.
God has given me so much after a lifetime of failing Him and yet, when the only thing I had left to offer Him was a big gray blob – it was the sweetest gift I could give Him. That I gave Him my full trust and confidence that He could do something with it … that I committed to Him that I had all the time He allows me in this world to be patient and watch Him work … He invited me to watch.
I learned to be quiet, I learned to stop snatching my blob back when I couldn’t see His vision for my life and miraculously, as if scales had been removed from my eyes I could see clearer what He was doing and I trust Him all the way.
I admit that at one time in my life I bought the lies of this world and fell for the lies which twisted my Holy Fathers word into what the world has watered down because it seemed ‘nicer’ than God’s discipline. I had tolerated or accepted what went against God while thinking the world’s logic made sense. I tied to combine my faith with what the world was teaching. But in that exile I kept striving for happiness that never lasted.
The day I fell flat on my face in remorse for going against His word and I was just a big gray blob at His feet was the best day of my everlasting life. I hold firm to God’s teachings in these changing times and it is going to be harder and harder to see God if we don’t hold firm.
Christians are being weeded out – the true Christ followers from the ones who only claim they know Him and from the ones who deny Him. We are becoming the few, but don’t be disheartened. It is Harvest time and as the sickle comes forth …we will be gathered to Him.