I must confess I have some slight OCD tendencies. (Ok, I have a lot of OCD tendencies!)
These little idiosyncrasies such as colour coding my wardrobe and arranging my shoes appear to have been passed on to my eldest son who takes great delight in lining up his cars in order of colour and size. There is one box in the playroom however that causes my inner Monica to recoil whenever it is pulled out to play with, and that is the playdoh box.
We have several pots of beautiful brightly coloured playdoh with which we have such fun creating models, people and more often than not some form of edible treats to ‘bake’ in the oven. However when my back is turned (usually retrieving said items from the actual oven before starting dinner), I find that the gorgeous coloured balls have been marvellously mashed up my by master crafter.
For any fellow OCD people out there, you can understand my horror at the contents of my wonderfully organised, pristine playdoh pots being unceremoniously mixed to create a far less appealing greenish brown lump.
You see, like the playdoh, I like my life organised. I have a box for my marriage, a box for my children, a box for friends, a box for ministry, a box for my career and, God forgive me, at times a box for God. I like to pack one box away before I get another one out, and I like to keep my boxes neat and tidy. It would never do to have a messy, untidy box or to spill the contents out. And if I was unfortunate enough to get my playdoh colours all melded together I would never be able to separate them fully again which in my eyes would render them useless.
As I looked at the ‘ruined’ lump of playdoh in my hands, God whispered into my heart “you see a mess of colours, I see malleable clay that is ready to mould”.
You see, God knows that we all fall short of the mark, that we all make a mess of the boxes of life, sometimes through bad choices and oftentimes through circumstances beyond our control. When we mess up the chances are we can never fully restore our lives or circumstances to exactly what they once were, our life colours will always be changed, altered somehow. But God doesn’t look at our mixed up colours and render us useless. He sees situations to serve through, experiences to encourage and testimonies that will teach others. God sees a lump of clay that has already been handled by the world, so much so that it is now soft and malleable, and the God colours of our lives are ready to be shaped by the Potter’s hands.
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand. Isaiah 64:8
Can I my do to you as is potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potters hand, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:6
Do you feel like you have messed up? You are in good company. Jacob was a deceiver, Martha was distracted, Mary Magdalene was demon possessed, Peter denied Jesus, Thomas was a doubter, yet God used these individuals in the Bible to define history and to further his Kingdom.
Friend, I want to urge you today that no matter how colourful your past or how much you have mixed up your once pristine playdoh tubs of life, God can and will use you. And the most amazing part of it all is that he wants to! You just have to place your life in his hands and trust that he can shape you into the man or woman of God you were created to be.