A New Mindset
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9)
Wait, child. The phrase spoken into my situation after I talked with a mentor, filling her ears with the discontentment I felt in unfulfilled longings. Her response, and what she said today’s world doesn’t hear enough, was: Wait.
Her words were like nails on a chalkboard. Haven’t I waited long enough?
Waiting was easy in the beginning when things were new, the adventure had just begun, and time seemed to abound, but now the word “wait” was beginning to rub blisters on my tired soul. It felt more and more like the word forgotten. Instead of waiting on the Lord, maybe I had been forgotten by the Lord. After all, if God is the maker of all, how does He simultaneously work billions of things at a time—surely some of us fall through the cracks?
Child, my ways are higher.
Trusting the Potter
This truth rings in my ears every time I doubt my great Creator. As a potter by trade, I am easily overwhelmed by the needs of production, but God? His ways and thoughts are so much higher than my own, and this is where I rest in His loving reprimand of my doubting heart. I am by no means His equal and can by no stretch of my small imagination understand His ability to care for each of His children. So my mentor’s words, though uncomfortable, have encouraged me to grapple with this idea of waiting.
It turns out, I see this process in effect every single day as a potter, making beautiful things out of dirt.
When I set out to make 1, 10, or 128 coffee mugs (my most recent number) there is a process of maturing that must take place. On the pottery wheel I throw my allotted number, setting each piece aside as I finish its shape. As I set them aside I proceed to leave them, just as they are, alone, covered a bit but not too much, allowing time to pass as I wait for them to dry. As a piece of clay dries it becomes stronger in its shape and is prepared for the next step in the process.
If I apply that to my own life—Isaiah 64:8: we are the clay; He is the potter—then I can understand that waiting doesn't mean forgotten; waiting means strengthened!
No matter how long I feel I have waited, no matter how ready I feel for the next step in the process of my life, no matter what I hope He will do next, the decision is ultimately not up to me. The things I long for, although good, may not be the things I am ready for.
Now, this might sound like nails on a chalkboard to your tired heart. Maybe your season of waiting has been really, really, really long, but we must commit to the process of properly drying, and rest in the truth that it is for a purpose.
Understanding the Process
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Friends, God is our great Creator, the one who gives and sustains our lives. He knows what’s best for you, and He will continue His good work in His timing. For now, we must see the waiting as His good work and commit to the process of drying, knowing that is a part of our story that gives us strength. A potter who does not wait for the maturing of his clay forsakes the plan he had for that piece all along. This is why we wait on our good Potter—the work He has begun he will complete (Philippians 1:6).