play-doh couple

Be Flexible


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.” 

Isaiah 64:8 

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! 

Valerie’s artwork!

10 Comments

  1. What a great blog. Strange….well not really….I had ask the Lord to do in me what He wants to do today in my prayer time with Him this morning.
    I love play-doh! It was always my favorite thing to do with my own kids as well as when I was teaching pre-school. The old hymn says…”Mold me and make me, after Your will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.”
    My prayer: May it be so Lord Jesus…M….P.S. Love Valerie’s art-work!

    1. Author

      Thank you Margie!
      I love how that hymn fits perfectly in the shaping and waiting process… we are called through both to yield to God’s purposes.
      I’ll let Valerie know you appreciate it 😀

  2. Thank you Pastor Nathan for once again your timely message. Especially in the days we live in, and the opportunities we have to live out our faith in Jesus! Let us join hands today to pray for our country and government, that God will mightily intervene in protecting us and allowing us to continue to live in freedom and peace in the midst of chaos. I do believe God will demonstrate His mighty power, mercy, and love He has for our country in the days to come. Praying for you and Valerie, and your church to flourish during these days of testing.

    1. Author

      Eileen,

      I too, am thinking about our government in the midst of the transition of power. God is, and always will be, in charge so we can pray for revival, peace, and mercy in this pivotal time. I am praying that His will be done and that we as the church, the Body of Christ, would represent Him well in all we do. Let’s keep praying for our country, in Jesus’ Name!

  3. Great message! Definitely feeling pressed down and stretched out these days. It can be painfully uncomfortable, but I do know that God never wastes our pain. Out of it, He is molding and shaping us into a new creation, strong and useful for His glorious purpose.

    1. Author

      I agree Rose, God never wastes our pain! This can be part of the stretching and molding process He intends for our benefit and ultimately, for His. While no one signs up for pain, it’s important to remember if we’re feeling stretched, we can yield to the Holy Spirit’s work knowing that He has a purpose in and through it all.

  4. Thank you Pastor, your punny message isn’t lost on me lol. As usual you are right on time with a word from God that I truly needed. I appreciate you both, nice work Val!

    1. Author

      Thanks Shelly. I’m glad you enjoyed my punny ways and that the message spoke to you. I’ll let Valerie know you liked her Play-Doh people 🙂

  5. FOR THE RECORD I appreciate your puns (please keep them coming :D) and this message!!! thank you PNate:)

    1. Author

      Thanks Jen! I will continue to make sure my pun game is strong. I appreciate you have a punny sense of humor! 😆 😋 😎

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