“Have Thine own way, Lord. Have Thine own way. Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will; While I am waiting, yielded and still.”
Those words were written by missionary Adelaide Pollard after attending a 1902 prayer meeting. I grew up singing those words in church. That “while I am waiting” part was frustrating for Adelaide Pollard while she was trying to raise funds to go for mission work in Africa.
That “while I am waiting” part has been frustrating for me many times when I have had great visions of what I wanted to do for God.
I have pondered this week how many times God has been waiting for me. One instance surfaced last week. The specifics are not important, but the gist of it is this: While on my way to work one day a few months ago, I noticed something about a house that I drive by every day. On this particular day, God told me to stop and check on the people who live there.
People I have never met.
Really, God? Since God’s voice was not audible, surely that impression was wrong. Of course, God has never spoken to me in an audible voice, but I have known He was speaking to my heart many times.
But this one is really out there, God. They will think I’m nuts. They will be offended. They are doing all kinds of crazy things in there – and they have guns… and dogs… and…
So, being the obedient follower of Christ that I am, I just prayed for whoever was in that house and kept on driving. I’ve kept driving and kept praying for months. But God wouldn’t quit. These gentle nudges kept on day after day until I finally relented. I prayed really, really hard and went to the door.
I came away without gunshot wounds or dog bites. I also discovered some needs that I could help with, some immediate and some long-term. I would like to say that I waited until just the right time to go. Everything was just right on that particular day. I might not have been welcomed on another day.
I think it is more likely that God used me in spite of myself.
Back in 1998, Christian author Patsy Clairmont wrote a book titled, “God Uses Cracked Pots.” I haven’t read it, but I remember the title. I am living proof that if God could only use perfect people, He wouldn’t get much done. I am cracked, flawed, hesitant and sometimes flat-out disobedient. But He uses me anyway.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23, NLT). But our lives matter so much to Him that He “…showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)
You’re cracked, too. But are you available to God?
Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.