I wonder how many of us over this past year have thought, felt or even said out loud, ‘I want to give up?’.
I read a blog this week that suggested 7 out of 10 pastors have thought of giving up this past year!!
Have we given up hope, have we given up dreams, have we given up on people, have we even given up on God?
It’s been so long right? Then again, the apostle Peter writes ‘a day is like a thousand years’ so in Gods mathematics this past year has actually been……86.4 seconds!!!
Here’s a thought for all of us….in this season when we are tempted in some ways to give up what if instead of give up, we give in?
What do I mean?
One day God asked Jeremiah to go to a potters house and just watch. Watch how the potter took the clay which is called wedging. He then pummels the clay to make it soft and malleable. He then centres the clay on the wheel and that’s crucial because when the wheel begins to spin if the clay isn’t centred it’s going to be a mess!
Sometimes it doesn’t quite work out so the potter starts the whole process again, he is not going to give up….there’s something beautiful and purposeful in his mind….
Then comes the amazing part, the potters hand bears down on the clay as the wheel spins, he adds water and then he begins to fashion, shape, create what he already sees in his mind’s eye is a finished pot.
Of course there’s more to come, there’s drying, firing and glazing but let’s hold on to this one image…..the potters hand on the clay while the wheel spins.
This is where his best work is done, when the wheel is spinning the fastest….
This is where God has us during this season if we will stay on the wheel long enough…
Transformation happens when we the clay don’t give up but give in.
I am convinced that during this painful and difficult season God is wanting to shape us as individuals and shape us as a church. Not only to be fit for purpose but to reflect who He already sees we are in his mind’s eye.
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 1 in the Message, ‘It is clear to us friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special….’
When Gods hand is on you it is always good news even if the wheel is spinning so fast everything inside of you wants to give up and get off!
Don’t give up give in
3 reasons we often give up….
- It’s too long
I love what Craig Groeschel said years ago, ‘we overestimate what God can do in the short term and under estimate what God can do in the long term’
Let’s not be too quick to get off the wheel, He hasn’t finished with us yet….
Church leaders, let’s not be too quick to ‘return to normal’ when much of normal wasn’t working that well and He has something new for us…don’t give up give in
2. It’s too uncomfortable
The wheel keeps spinning, the hand keeps pressing in and it’s uncomfortable. As many have said, everything we want but don’t have is just beyond our comfort zone.
It’s the discomfort we embrace that creates the capacity to become…don’t get off the wheel too quick, God hasn’t finished with us yet…..don’t give up give in
3. It’s too painful
During this past year I’ve discovered strength and resilience I never knew I had AND I’ve also discovered insecurities, fears, confidence crises and some other pretty ugly stuff I never imagined was in me!
Yes it’s painful; but when Gods hand in on you it’s always purposeful
Don’t give up give in
Here’s some of God’s promises when we don’t give up….
‘Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’ – Galatians 6 v.9 NIVUK
“I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!” – Philippians 1:6 TPT
“So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:4 NLT
As we begin to move towards Easter and beyond, with all the talk of roadmaps and marker dates, let’s not give up but let’s make sure we give in to all He wants to do in us and then through us…after all doesn’t it say the potter formed the pot ‘as seemed best to him?’
It will be worth it….don’t give up give in