Ten years ago I was at a good place in my life. At this time, I felt like I was doing exactly what God wanted me to do. I was in the prime of my teaching career, mentoring students on and off the golf course as a coach and serving on the board of my church as an elder. Then, a series of trials left deep wounds to my soul. When the dust settled, I lost my job, several friendships and the desire to become vulnerable.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, Isaiah 41:10.
Whenever I endure hardship, it becomes difficult for me to allow strangers back into my life. Whether this is a defense mechanism, fear of being disappointed again or signs of depression, I tend to withdraw. Part of me is jaded, hesitant to invest time and energy without knowing what the future holds. Yet after years of being in some sort of spiritual fog, a moving worship experience a few Sunday’s ago has led me to realize it’s time to open up.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working, James 5:16.
During one of these songs, I had a vision of clay being molded and fashioned by a potter. This imagery was a subtle reminder of God’s nature as a heavenly Potter. All of my heartache over the last decade is symbolic of the imperfections within clay. If I can only trust God while I go through the furnace called life, I will become whole. May the message that I am learning inspire others to become vulnerable to others again.
by Jay Mankus