The Potter, Abba

Joan’s post reminded me of a song “Abba, Father” that, as a christian musician, I have played for years.  This song is an acknowledgement that God is the creator and guidance for our lives.  Just as parents try to raise their children, God is trying to “raise” us, to make us into adult children.  God wants us to trust and follow Him just as children will trust and follow their parents.

This song can have so much impact.  I’m sorry that the video (link below) can not capture that.  As you listen, imagine this song sung by 100+ people, full of power and the glory of the Lord.  When I’m playing this song on my guitar for a group that large, I forget my instrument.  I find I miss chords, stop playing; I’m so riveted in the music surrounding me.  When you’re leading the song this could be a bad thing, but no one has ever mentioned it.

I hope you enjoy the song “Abba, Father”

Molded by The Father

As parents, we all try to mold our children in different ways.  We provide them with learning experiences such as music or swimming lessons. We teach them to socialize by making play dates with others, or taking them to nursery school.  We may send them to camp or take them to different places on vacation. We expose them to libraries and restaurants and museums and concerts.  We set rules for living well and let them suffer the consequences when they break those rules.  Our ultimate goal is to help them live a productive and contented life.

Well, God is our Father, and He is interested in molding us as well.  Listen to these verses from Jeremiah 18:1-5:

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  ‘Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’  So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at the wheel.  And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me:  ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as the potter has done?'”

Everything that happens in our lives is sent by our Father to change us into the vessel he wants us to be.  Some of the things that change us are really good;  others are challenging; and yet others seem to break us open completely.  The Bible tells us that:

“For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:11

God, our Father, wants the best for us.  The good things we receive from His hand are cause for gratitude;  the painful things are too, for they are all part of the individual learning experience God has tailored for every one of us.

What will you learn from what God sends you today?


More Disturbing Words

“Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29

We think of God’s words in many ways:  comforting, encouraging, inspiring.  It is those things.  However, this verse from Isaiah tells us something very different, and a little scary.  God’s word can be destructive.

Most of us have a lot of preconceived ideas.  We think certain things because a parent, teacher or other authority taught them.  We think other things because it’s convenient:  thinking in a certain way justifies our actions, helps us to fit in, or advances our position in the world.

When we compare some of these ideas to God’s word, what happens?  They are destroyed, blown away.  We find we can’t hold onto them.  It’s painful and unsettling.  Sometimes we’re tempted to accept the parts we like, and ignore the ones we don’t.

A devotion I was reading this morning compared the process of sanctification to having braces put on our teeth.  The dentist shows us a picture of how our teeth look before braces –crooked, crowded, etc.. Then the perfect smile he wants us to attain.  The process is not without pain … at first the braces hurt, and we are self conscious because we don’t look like everyone around us. There are things we can’t do anymore –like chewing gum.  Gradually, however, we see the positive changes and the braces don’t bother us as much.

If we take God’s word seriously, it will sometimes sting and hurt.  It may destroy some cherished ideas.  It may force us to give up some things we like doing.  However, if we follow through faithfully, the end results will be worth it.