“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
Do you ever feel restless, insecure, and uncomfortable in your own skin? Do you ever wish that you were not as easily swayed by the opinions of other people? Augustine, a pastor from almost 1500 years ago, once observed, “O God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”
Augustine knew that we will do almost anything to avoid feeling or appearing to be awkward – that we prize beauty, poise, and seeming to have it all together above almost all else in this life. The truth is that we so easily succumb to this temptation and quickly become exhausted with the constant struggle to keep up the appearances and avoid looking foolish because we are constantly forgetting God’s character and identity.
Ephesians 2:8-10 describes God as an expert artist who is fashioning our lives into a masterpiece. Your life is a lump of clay in the hands of God, the expert artist, and he is shaping, fashioning, and molding you into a beautiful work of his imaginative love and grace.
One person has written this humbling and exhilarating piece of wise advice: “Keep two pieces of paper in your pocket at all times – one that says I am but a speck of dust and another that says the world was made for me.” The fact that you are a lump of clay is humbling. That clod of muddy dirt is not very attractive, feels very much shapeless and messy, and has little power for excitement or good in the world.
However, that same clod of dirt in the skillful, trained, capable hands of the Master Artist is being transformed and shaped into something beautiful and useful! The fact that you are a lump of clay in the Master’s hands is at the same time exhilarating: you are his “workmanship”, his masterpiece, his life’s work which he delights to fashion in to something useful and beautiful. The great news from Philippians 1:6 is that God the Artist always finishes the good work he starts. Your entire life from birth to death is a process to God shaping and forming you into a glorious work of his own hands.
Are you confident that God is shaping, sculpting, and fashioning you? If so, then you can lay down some of the exhausting maintenance of being your own security, your own meaning, and your own beauty. Resting in the capable, involved, loving hands of a potter who won’t stop until his good work is completed, are you becoming more and more patient with the process of God’s shaping, forming, and tweaking?
Rest today with fresh courage and trust that God is at work as the Master Artist with his own hands shaping your life into something beautiful and useful!