It’s a POTS kind of day. My body is just not working right. A truth that speaks to many of us as we get older and to those of us who struggle with health issues is this: Physical ailments aim to get the best of us on our worst days. Today is one of those days for me.
Romans 9:20-21 “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?”
I am oftentimes reminded of this verse when I’m frustrated and struggling with symptoms. It begins with a few strong words in the form of a question: Who are you, O man? That’s fairly self-explanatory. Answer back to God in so many words means talk back to Him. Will what is molded (oh ya—that’s me) say to the One who molds me, Why have you made me like this? Well, actually, I have been known to ask that very question. In my weakness, I struggle to know why.
I am beginning, however, to ask that question and similar ones, less and less. I’m finding that it’s just not necessary anymore. When I, the molded, rest in the fact that He is the Molder, there’s no need to ask questions. No need to talk back. By the way, I’m an excellent talker-backer. I talk back to my husband from time to time. It feels good in the moment but not so great later when we’re trying to pick up the pieces from an argument. The same is true with my Potter but on a greater level—the pieces that will need to be picked up after such an incident are my trust, my devotion, my peace, my focus. It’s not worth it. The bottom line is that I do not need question the One who has made me.
Now to some reading this, that sounds a tad bit on the legalistic side. That I would just do what I’m told to do by a big boss in the sky who is letting me suffer physically. To those persons—I would say, you might have missed one key word from my comments thus far. . . rest.
There’s more to that word and what it has meant to me over the course of my journey with illness than I can accurately express on paper. But I will try—using it in the context of this verse, which gives us such amazing imagery about the one who is being molded and the molder. It’s a beautiful picture of clay, which is soft and amenable, able to be formed.
Clay is a picture of rest. It is a posture, a stance that yields. That conforms. The clay is sensitive to every move and every touch of the Potter because of who the Potter is, He is the One in control. Oh—the Potter! He holds, he works, he forms, he tightens his grip and loosens it as needed, but he never stops molding. Thank goodness, He never stops molding. He is faithful. He is true. He is good. And He is enough.
So we, as the clay, yield ourselves into His careful Hands. And when we find ourselves questioning, we yield again. And again. And again. And again and again and again. Until we enter a season when the questions are few and far between because the molder has proved Himself to be the precious Potter who, indeed, is making something far more beautiful out of the clay than the clay could have possibly made out of itself.
Today, I am happy to be clay in the Hands of my Father, the Potter.
“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
*POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, a form of dysautonomia. For more information and to spread awareness, see this video published by Dysautonomia International.