Best of Daily Reflections: The Arguing Clay

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?' "

Isaiah 45:9

Through Isaiah, the Lord made known his plans to use Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple. Of course this meant that the Israelites would be subject to Cyrus . . . not exactly the kind of restoration they would have wanted. Surely it was tempting for them to question God’s plans, to doubt his wisdom or goodness.

Yet the Lord points out the folly of such arguments. “Does a clay pot argue with its maker?” Of course not. The potter has the right to form the clay according to the potter’s design. The idea of the arguing clay is a silly one.

When God works in our lives in ways that don’t make sense to us–or when he appears not to be working at all–it’s tempting to take the role of the arguing clay. In his mercy, God is not put off by our questions and doubts. (See, for example, the Book of Job.) But, in the end, our confidence in God’s wisdom and goodness allows us to put our trust in him, to become willing clay. We know that he is in the process of forming us into the very image of Christ, even if we can’t quite understand that process.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you taken the role of the arguing clay? What motivated you to question God’s plans? What helps you to become trusting, willing clay?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I do affirm your goodness and wisdom. I do believe that your work in my life is masterful. But when I can’t understand what you’re doing, when hardship comes my way, when things don’t work out as I think they should, then I do find it easy to question, to argue, even to doubt. I wonder where you are and what you are doing. I can play the role of the arguing clay with the best of them.

Help me, gracious Lord, to trust you more each day. When you are molding me in ways I don’t understand, may I continue to have confidence that you are doing what is best in my life. I pray for vision to see your work in me, so that I may cooperate with you and rejoice in your presence. Amen.