Clay In the Potter’s Hands: a poem of trust

I am but clay in the potter’s hands,
a mass amongst many in the workshop of life.
Formless and shapeless, no use or demands,
simple and naive, unfamiliar to strife.

To my left rest many, resembling me,
but they’re hardened and drying, crumbling in state.
Though the potter offers moisture, graciously free,
they progressively resist, hardened by hate.

To my right I see others, flexible and cool,
eager to be molded by the potter’s hands.
They are gentle in texture, a pliable tool,
for them the potter possesses great plans.

I am but clay in the potter’s hands,
of all those around, he scoops ME up.
He knows I am ready for all the demands
required to shape me into a great cup.

As he begins kneading my grooves and my dimples,
I feel the great warmth of the potter’s touch.
But soon he starts stretching me into more than what’s simple
and I’m suddenly sure he is asking too much.

I resist and I struggle, as my moisture dries,
where I once was pliable, I soon start to tear.
In distress I realize I need the grace of the potter,
for alone I am helpless, it’s too tough to bear.

I am but clay in the potter’s hands,
when he sees I am struggling he meets all my needs.
Calmly he adds moisture to my drying sands,
I am instantly refreshed, I need not to plead.

And with that he continues to mold me and shape me,
he smooths out my edges and builds me up.
Before long I can tell that his plans are much grander
than simply to mold me into a small cup.

I find myself wondering what it is he is planning
as he massages my ridges and bends my dough.
I grow anxious and ask him of what he is manning,
but he smiles and says that’s not for me to know.

I am but clay in the potter’s hands,
does clay say to the potter, what is it you make?
Worry and fear are not from which I stand,
therefore I must trust the potter’s will is at stake.

As he finishes sculpting, I know I am changed,
I can feel my new ridges and sturdy base.
But just as I find ease in what was once strange,
I see there is more ahead I must face.

Life is not easy, not even for clay,
for heat is what makes us strong.
The kiln has been burning, awaiting my day
and the licks of the flames are long.

I am but clay in the potter’s hands,
my fate is not mine to choose.
I must trust that he knows his perfect plan,
and that I have nothing to lose.

As I’m led to the fire, the potter is gentle,
he knows I can only handle so much.
He assures me the end results will be plentiful
if I trust in him and remain tough.

So I face the adversity, the heat and the pain,
knowing the flame cannot bring my end.
Though I ache and I hurt and I want to place blame,
I cling to the hope that the potter sends.

I can feel myself toughening, my sides growing stiff
as the heat of life sturdies my flanks.
And though not long before I was struggling and burning
I now find myself giving thanks.

I am but clay in the potter’s hands,
as he draws me out of the fiery baker.
He was right, I’m not broken or weakened or cracked
I’m a strong tool in the hands of my Maker.

–Mo Isom, August 2012

This original poem was inspired by this Biblical passage:

Isaiah 45:9-12

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’”
11 This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.

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“Sexual Healing”

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”–Matthew 11:28

 

I was blessed to stumble across this amazing piece of poetry today. In my “Kissless ‘Till Next Christmas” ministry, you have only had the opportunity to hear from my female perspective. Jeff Bethke does an amazing job of articulating my same message from a male perspective. Please take the time to listen and watch.

 

The Life I Planned

The Life I Planned

by Beth Moore
*******
Has someone seen the life I planned?
It seems it’s been misplaced
I’ve looked in every corner
It’s lost without a trace
I’ve found one I don’t recognize
Things missing that were dear
Promises I’d hope to keep
And dreams I’d dreamed aren’t here
Faces I had planned to see
Hands I planned to hold
Now absent in the pictures
Not the way I told
Has someone seen the life I planned?
Did it get thrown away?
God took my hand from searching
Then I heard him say,
“Child, your ears have never heard
Your eyes have never seen
Eternal plans I have for you
Are more than you could dream.
“You long to walk by sight
But I’m teaching eyes to see.
I know what I am doing
‘Til then, you must believe.”
He’s done so much, I felt ashamed
To know He heard my moans
To think I’d trade in all He’s done
For plans made on my own.
I wept over His faithfulness
And how He’d proved Himself
How He’d gone beyond my dreams
And said to Him myself,
“No, my ears have never heard
My eyes have never seen
Eternal plans you have for me
Are more than I could dream.
“Yes, I long to walk by sight
But You’re teaching eyes to see
You know what You are doing
‘Til then, I must believe.”
I felt His great compassion
Mercy unrestrained
He let me mourn my losses
And showed me to my gains.
I offered Him my future
And released to Him my past
I traded in my dreams
For a plan He said would last.
I get no glimpse ahead
No certainties at all
Except the presence of the One
Who will not let me fall.
Are you also searching
For a life you planned yourself?
Have you looked in every corner?
Have you checked on every shelf?
Child, your ears have never heard
Your eyes have never seen
Eternal plans He has for you
Are more than you could dream.
Perhaps you long to walk by faith
But He’s teaching eyes to see
He knows what He is doing
Child, step out and believe.
*******
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind
has conceived what God has prepared
for those that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
*******
God Is Love.

Break Free Little Girl

Back in 2007, I wrote my best friend, Annie, a poem for her graduation.  She was transitioning into college and hesitant about entering a completely new phase in her life. I wanted to express to her my deepest passion for her heart and assure her that I would always love her and that God would always guide her. This poem was written long before anything happened to my daddy and long before my car accident. It was simply written to inspire strength in a friend.  Now, 4 years later, I stumbled across this poem and trembled when I read it.  The strength it had once provided my friend, it now provides me.  It amazes me how different all of our circumstances and conditions may be, but what similar emotions we all share. God is so beautiful.

 

“Break Free Little Girl”

 

It makes so much sense to want to run,

to flee from the shackles and sprint towards the sun.

It makes so much sense to attempt to fly,

though conformity grounds us each time we try.

It makes so much sense to duck and hide,

serenity and solitude appeal side by side.

It makes so much sense to shed all our tears,

but you can’t if you’re drowned in judgmental sneers.

 

Break free little girl,

and sprint towards the sun.

Strap on your wings,

and take off with a run.

Dip through the darkness,

and find your own place.

Let your sewn-up tears,

pour down your face.

 

Let your running and flying

break through the chains.

Let your lovely emotions

cut through the pain.

Let your hair wisp sharply

and laugh, little girl.

Do a dance of liberation

your canvas—the world.

 

So paint your own future,

determine your fate.

Cut your own path,

and lose your way.

Then find yourself again,

when you know you aren’t lost.

And hold your head high,

no matter the cost.

 

Break free little girl,

and dance for the moon.

As it gazes upon you,

and shadows the gloom.

Sing a song of triumph,

in your darkest day.

Since you know, little girl

that you found your own way.

 

Now you stand at a crossroad,

with two paths at hand.

One a life of selflessness,

certainty, and plan.

The other a winding

trail of ambiguity,

with inhibition trodden on

beside dependency.

 

Along the path you choose

lies another divide,

Two courses you may take

to the friends you may find.

One a path of integrity,

faithfulness, and trust.

The other of obstruction,

deceit, and lust.

 

Break free little girl

and travel these paths.

If you find you’re misguided,

turn around and backtrack.

Slash the shrubs that hinder

your journey’s progress,

and pave the course you choose

with loud confidence.

 

Live your life to the fullest

and hold your friends near.

Cherish your family,

for whom you owe all your years.

Let your eyes gleam with pride

that swells from your soul,

And embrace all the love

that your heart soon shall dole.

 

When faced with adversity,

run little girl.

To your deepest of thoughts

in your very own world.

Knead your faith for the answers

to life’s hardest angst,

and hold dear to the morals

you have leaned strong against.

 

Stand high on your platform

of character and will.

Think always with your soul,

for your ego gasps ill.

Remain humble and retire

to your childish awe.

Find excitement and passion

in everything small.

 

Break free little girl

and dance for the moon.

As it gazes upon you,

and shadows the gloom.

Sing a song of triumph,

in your darkest day.

Since you know, little girl

you will pave your own way.

 

 

 

–Mo Isom, 2007