Learning the unforced rhythms of grace

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Rested and Shaped

This is a quiet season for me. I didn't think it would be but it is.

I recently pursued a few different employment ideas that were intriguing but nothing came of them. I thought my sockart business might get busier . . . but it has actually slowed down. A few projects that I had the opportunity to be involved in changed and went on without me. 

I've learned (slowly and cumulatively) that when I keep hitting roadblocks it is best to stop and reassess. So, I've been reading . . . and I've been pondering how rest shapes us. We know that pain and suffering shapes us, that brokenness and yielding to the holy sovereignty of God shapes us, but what about rest?

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Before clay is put into a kiln, it must be dry. But not just dry as in the absence of water, it must be dry in equal parts. The thin and thick parts of a clay sculpture or bowl must be dried strategically so that they are even and won't crack when put into the high temperature of the kiln. Some potters spray water or cover one part of the pot until the other part has caught up to it in dryness. This stage is called "resting". If it is done well and properly, then the clay will be all one temperature, one dryness or "bone dry" as it's called, and ready for the kiln. If this stage is rushed in any way, the pottery will crack and be useless.

Rest shapes us. It shapes us by the absence of something, allowing us to change from one form into another. We feel the change and don't like it. Something is dying, leaving, slipping away. It used to be important, crucial in fact, but now it is not. As it leaves, we are being formed into something stronger.

This leaves me to simply ask us, what is God removing from our lives in order to make us stronger, more beautiful and more able to be used for His purposes and glory? If we can rest, if we can hold still and be patient, the best work will be accomplished. If you're in a season of resting, don't rush it! 

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this." Proverbs 3:5-12