When God wants to drill a man and thrill a man and skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man, to play the noblest part,
When He yearns with all His heart, to create so great and bold a man,
That all the world will be amazed, watch His methods, watch His ways,
How He ruthlessly perfects, whom He royally elects,
How He hammers him and hurts him and with mighty blows converts him,
Into trial shapes of clay, which God only understands,
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands,
How he bends but never breaks when his good He undertakes,
How He uses whom He chooses and with every purposes fuses him,
But every act induces him, to try his splendor out, God knows what he’s about !
I first heard this listening to Ravi Zacharias one day at lunch. He was talking about the making of a prophet. As I listened to him talk about the calling of Ezekiel, and how God brought him to the point of being his instrument, I was somehow comforted by it. It’s not the nice Grandfatherly image of God we all like to conjour up, but more like that of a sculptor wielding mallet and chisel, creating a masterpiece. Great works of art like Joseph, unjustly sold into slavery, sent to prison and forgotten, only to become God’s mighty right hand in Egypt. Or Moses, exiled and wandering in the desert, broken before he was used to deliver the children of Israel by the mighty hand of God. Jeremiah. Job. Paul. John. The list is endless. And in lesser ways, all of us who earnestly seek the kingdom. We too are molded into trial shapes of clay by his hand. This helps me to understand the senseless pain that has come my way lately, the wounds I received in the house of my friends. They too are intended by God to shape me and mold me into His image, to make me useful.
Sin abounds, but Grace abounds all the more, even as we stumble and fall toward the light.
Oh that we might know the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.