For those that know me, I’ve always appreciated a good pun. Sometimes these puns slip out during teachings, and to my surprise, I hear a few painful groans in the background. Maybe my puns were not as clever as I thought, or better yet, there is a lack of appreciation for such a proficient and amusing artform. Either way how you see it, prayer is much needed. 🙏
Hence the reason why I could not help but share a gift my friend Alexis got me for Christmas (see picture below). The T-shirt reads, “This Pastor really don’t Play-Doh.” I realize you need a few moments to contain yourself from the side ache of laughter, so take your time before you continue reading. I understand… trust me.
Whether you chucked at the joke or not (realizing that the statement is true, though 😋), the thought of Play-Doh got me thinking. You might think it is strange to bring up a child’s toy as an illustration for a blog geared towards adults. However, the analogy of Play-Doh is more relevant in our time than ever.
What gives Play-Doh its signature move is its capability to shape its substance into anything you see fit. It’s pliable nature fuels creativity as it stretches, molds, and transforms into the image you envisioned. The soft texture bends and adapts to create art, just like this blog’s main picture. (Valerie made the cute Play-Doh people, I do not have that skill).
The Lord brought to my mind that it is crucial to be pliable in what God wants to do in this season. How He shapes us directly influences where Christ is taking us! The Holy Spirit wants to do a transforming work in your life, but there is a yieldedness that must come first.
There’s a similar substance to Play-Doh that is used in Scripture: clay. When the clay is wet, it is workable, being shaped and molded as one sees fit all because of it’s flexible nature. The potter can shape and reshape the clay until it is complete.
Listen to Isaiah’s words as he expresses God’s nature to us:
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
We are all the work of your hands.”
It’s a fact that the Father wants to shape us more to look like Christ. He is the potter; we are the clay. I believe that He is doing this great work in us now like never before. Why?
The most significant opportunities for growth are when you and I are being stretched beyond our limitations. When what lies in front of us seems impossible, can we stand our ground and maintain faith? When external circumstances did not go as planned, do we trust in God for breakthrough? When feelings of the past seem to dictate our decision making, can we allow God in to mend our wounds?
If we do not yield to the work Christ wants to do in us, we become hardened. It would be as if the potter halfway finished a clay pot so it cannot be used for its intended purpose – to hold water. The shaping was not allowed to finish so that it could be ready when the time came for its use.
In our circumstance, the potter – God the Father – eagerly desires to mold us and even bend us back to shape for His original intentions. But if we resist, that is, do not surrender to His work, we are not pliable. Yes, there is pain in being stretched. If we want more of God, we must embrace the ‘growing pains.’ Our refusal shows that we do not trust Him to stretch us and, at times, test us.
Otherwise, like left out Play-Doh, we become hardened. I’ve tried to bend and shape the Play-Doh was not sealed properly, but it was impossible. It became as hard as a rock! (See picture below). The hardened Play-Doh is a picture of our hearts if we do not embrace the change God desires to do in each our us.
- There might be a relationship that you’ve given up on because of how someone has mistreated you. Is God’ molding’ you with His character to reach out?
- Perhaps you are disappointed or dissatisfied with what is going on around you. How is the Lord’ shaping’ your attitude?
- It could be pain – pain that doesn’t go away or pain that you want to forget. Are you willing to let the Holy Spirit’ fashion’ your heart – to work through the junk leading to ultimate healing?
Listen to the Holy Spirit and be flexible. There’s so much God wants to do in you but will not do if you are rigid and not willing to be stretched. “The Lord is constantly watching everyone, and He gives strength to those who faithfully obey Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). Is that you? I encourage you right now to trust God through the trials and trust Him to take you to places you’ve never thought of going; the Lord knows what He is doing, and He wants you to be flexible for His purposes and for His Kingdom.
Have a blessed week!