The God Who Rolls His Sleeves Up
He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no-one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him. (Isaiah 59:16)
"Don’t get involved!" How many times have you heard those words? They certainly seem to be the watchword of so many today. But thankfully God isn’t like that. God loves to get involved! He isn’t some "remote Creator" who stands far off; rather, he "rolls his sleeves up" to intervene in His world, both in the lives of individuals and the affairs of nations, working toward His end purpose that "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).
The Bible sometimes likens God to a potter, carefully shaping the clay on his wheel. The clay is us and our lives, which means that we are both secure in His hands, but also that He can do with us as He pleases! Thankfully, he knows what he is doing and we can trust his intervention completely. As Isaiah confidently prayed, "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand" (Isaiah 64:8). When we feel the fingers of the potter going into our lives, we need not fear. God is our Father and we can be confident that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28), as so many of the stories in the Bible bring home to us again and again.
So, if you are sensing God’s fingers pressing into the clay of your life at this time, don’t be fearful! Perhaps you have been asking Him to do it – perhaps you haven’t! But, either way, you can trust Him. He really is only working for your good. Look back and remember the times that He has rolled up His sleeves and intervened in the past on your behalf; as you do, let it help you to look forward in trusting anticipation of His involvement once again. Remember: His sleeves are only ever rolled up for good for His children!
Since ancient times no-one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont