I’ll never forget when I got my first cell phone as a teenager. It was a gray Motorola flip phone that looked less like a phone and more like a stone. It was gigantic by today’s standards, but it served the simple purpose of connecting to my parents if there ever was an emergency.
Little did I know that this simple technology was just a glimpse of the tidal wave of social connectivity to come. As connectivity grew, so did productivity. Email moved from desktop to laptop to iPhone. Taking care of business migrated from the corner office to the corner coffee shop. Team meetings shifted from boardrooms to Zoom rooms.
The ease of technology now dominates our day. Our smart speakers can control our lights, adjust our AC, or start our car. We can have food delivered to our front steps in 30 minutes with a couple of taps on our phone. We can watch any movie on demand or binge-watch our favorite show thanks to the power of streaming. No more waiting for a new episode to air next week and no more commercials.
A Patient Potter
We’ve spent a generation being able to get what we want or need in the shortest amount of time possible. That ease is something we have grown used to, but it’s not all good. That expectation has produced a term called “microwave mentality,” which means that if something cannot be done in five minutes or less, it’s not worth doing.
The Father does not work at the pace of our man-made culture. He does not count time like we count days. As Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The Father does not conform His work to our broken perspective of time. He is not in a hurry; we are.
This is why it is vital for us to diagnose the hurried and impatient parts of our lives and conform them to the expectation that God has for His children. Often that expectation means that we have to wait. God doesn’t always move as quickly as our convenience-soaked hearts expect, and it is up to us to start the process of reprogramming our hearts to move at the speed of God. God’s idea of the race He’s set in front of us may not be at the pace we want, but it is set at the exact pace we need. So, let’s take a moment to reorient our hurried hearts by looking at the character of God as the One who carefully and patiently molds us.
He is in Control
“Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (Romans 9:21).
This verse is a part of the greater conversation of the sovereign choice and work of God in Romans 9, which paints a broad, beautiful picture of the work of God in the world. He shows mercy to whom He wills. He makes one vessel for honorable use and crafts another for dishonor. He works as He wants for His glory.
There is great comfort in knowing that nothing escapes the grasp of God. Not only is He present in all things, but He is powerful in all things. He is working the best of days and the worst of days for His glory. There may be days that our apprehension and understanding of the work of God in our lives is unclear but that doesn’t negate the fact that He is on the move in our lives. He is at work in all things, and that is good news for us.
He is never done with you. He continues to have a plan for you. He is at constant work in you. And He desires to continually work through you. He is at work, but it may not be entirely visible nor following the timeline you had hoped for. Trust the potter. His intentional and steady work is set to produce strong and useful clay like you and me.