Delicate, Not Fragile
“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)
When I was walking through one of the most difficult seasons of my life, God showed me a powerful picture.
I’m not really a “see some sort of vision” kind of girl. So at first, I thought it was just my imagination wandering off for a minute. But then I felt an impression on my heart that this wasn’t random; this really was from God.
At first, what I saw inside my mind was a beautiful flower made from paper-thin glass. I looked at it from all sides and admired the way it was formed. Then I saw a hand reaching out and wrapping itself around the glass flower. But as the hand closed around it, the glass popped and shattered. The glass was delicately beautiful but too fragile to be worked with.
Next, I saw the same flower formed out of shiny metal. And the hand reached out and wrapped itself around the flower and held it for a few seconds. But then, once again, the hand closed around it. Only this time, nothing happened to the flower. It didn’t change in any way. And I could tell the harder the hand pressed, the more pain the steel flower was causing the hand. The steel was strong but not moldable. The metal flower was too hard to give way to the hand’s desired working.
But the last time I saw the same flower, it was made from white clay. Every detail was the same except now when the hand reached out and closed around it, the flower moved with the hand. The clay squeezed and moved between the hand’s fingers. The hand folded and twisted and worked with the clay until suddenly an even more beautiful flower emerged.
So I asked God about the glass flower and the metal flower. They were beautiful, but not as beautiful as the white clay flower after being molded.
I felt the Lord say to my heart, Lysa, I want you to be delicate, but I don’t want you to be fragile. If you’re like that piece of glass, beautiful but so fragile, when I press into you and try to make you something new, you’ll just shatter. I also want you to be strong, but I don’t want you to be unmoldable. You see, Lysa, that steel flower — it’ll always just be a steel flower. And no matter how hard My hand presses on it, I can’t make something new from something so hard. You are already beautiful, but if you’ll surrender to My shaping, I can do a new and more beautiful work in you.
The images I had seen were beginning to make sense. He wanted me to be like clay. The white clay flower was delicately beautiful but not too fragile. The white clay flower was strong enough to hold its shape but soft enough to allow the hand to reshape it as needed. And in the end, the clay flower wound up being the most beautifully shaped of them all.
I cried. I finally felt like I could understand a bit of God’s perspective.
It gave a whole new meaning to one of my favorite verses, found in Isaiah 64:8: “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
Oh, friend, God isn’t ever going to forsake us, but He will go to great lengths to remake us.
God loves the parts of us that are delicately beautiful, but He doesn’t want us to be fragile like that glass. God made us to be strong, but He doesn’t want us to grow hard like metal and unable to be molded.
Seeing the beautiful in life requires us to stay moldable by God. We don’t want to be too fragile or too rigid. If we’re too fragile, the fear of being broken, crushed and hurt again will make us want to fight the process. If we are too rigid, those sharp and strong edges may feel like they protect us, but in reality, they just prevent the transformative work of God in us. It’s only in trusting the gentle but powerful hands of the Potter and allowing Him to remold and remake us that those hurts are able to be shaped into something beautiful.
He wants me like the clay, able to stand firm but still be molded and reformed into whatever purpose He has for me. He wants that for you, too, my friend. We don’t have to be afraid of how He’s going to shape our lives. He is the God who somehow makes everything beautiful in its time.
God, help me turn my eyes away from my circumstances and trust You as the Potter, making something beautiful out of it all. I want to be moldable so I can become more like You. Remind me of the illustration of these different flowers often. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (NIV)
That aching pain we feel in the midst of our heartbreak is proof there’s a beautiful remaking already in process … but we can’t give up. Discover the indescribable gift of our God, who breathes life into even the shattered pieces of our stories, creating something new and more beautiful than ever before, with Lysa TerKeurst’s new devotional book, Seeing Beautiful Again. Order your copy through Proverbs 31 Ministries for a special Release Day price and get an exclusive bonus, available TODAY only!
Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Which kind of flower would you say you are most like right now — glass, metal or clay? What truths about God can help you keep your heart moldable? Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2021 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.