I've recently encountered circumstances that have made me come face to face with things that I don't like in myself. Perhaps it's being in a new house church surrounded by new friends that has made me strikingly aware of the impressions I am making. I've seen these things in myself before. And I always assumed that if I am displeased with myself, how much more is my Heavenly Father displeased?
I think I would probably prefer that the Lord just make me into a little clone of Jesus. It's hard to imagine the Creator of the universe formed and fashioned me - uniquely - to worship Him. I find myself wanting to love Him like others do. I have the privilege of walking with some amazing women of God and I often think to myself, "If only I could be like her. I want the sweet, encouraging spirit of Hollie. I want the hospitality of Deb. I want the steadfastness of Lauren." There are so many beautiful traits in the women around me that I wish I had. I'm constantly comparing myself to others and seeing ways that I just don't measure up.
I was recently praying about this part of who I am that I don't particularly like. It's a part of my personality where it seems most of my problems, struggles and temptations stem from. Once again, I found myself pleading with the Lord, "Please, take this away! I don't want to be this way anymore. I don't want to be this person! I don't like who I am." In that moment, God spoke to my heart saying,
"Who are you to say to me, 'Why have you made me like this?' I made you this way for a reason. I am not going to take it away. I am going to redeem you."For years my friends and family have reminded me that this part of who I am is both a weakness and a strength. However, it is only a strength when submitted to the Lord. Those reminders have consistently gone in one ear and out the other. That's not what I wanted to hear. I wanted someone to help me pray it away. Because all I could see were the glaring weaknesses this brought to my life. All I saw was imperfection and I just wanted Him to cut it out. That's the easy way, right? Just start over? For years now I have wrestled with God over this; never understanding why it wouldn't just go away and wondering how I was failing in my pleading prayers. I was unyielding in my desire to see it gone.
|The pressure of the Potters hand|
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is abundant redemption."
|What does He see?|
This concept is particularly powerful to me because my earthly father is a Potter. I've grown up alongside the potters wheel and I know that the transformation from a hard, stubborn lump of clay to a beautiful and useful vessel is not an easy one. Stubborn clay is beaten, thrown, drenched in water, sliced and sometimes re-worked several times before it becomes something useful. I know this transformation process won't be easy. But I know I can trust the Potter. Ultimately He will get more glory when I allow Him to redeem beauty from these ashes.
So I choose to hope in the Lord. With Him is abundant redemption.
Are there things you don't like about yourself? Do you believe they can be redeemed?
Pottery photographs are of my Poppie and were taken by me March 2011.