Sometimes the shapes that the Potter is forming can stretch the clay thin. In these moments the quality that is critical is Strength. The clay must be able to hold it's own and not collapse in on itself or tear. An overly fragile piece of pottery is not very useful.
How often do I find that my integrity is being tested? That the stretching and bending of my soul and character are being all at once strained by outside forces and yet conditioned by my Father. One of my favorite verses in scripture, one that I cling to often, is Joshua 1:9. Following the death of Moses, Joshua is faced with the incredibly difficult task of leading the people of Israel into the promise land which in addition to flowing with milk and honey is stock full of "giants" and enemies to be conquered. Lands, homes and treasures to be wrestled from the opposition. Joshua was anxious. We know this because of how many times God has to give him the following command from verse 9.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.Several more times in the following verses God emphasizes again and again that Joshua is to have courage and be strong.
I have never had to battle armies and cities the way that Joshua did but I have feared the tasks before me; college, career, dating, travel, change.
I often feel completely incapable of dealing with all that lies before me. However, God's encouragement is the same to me as it was to Joshua. "Do not tremble or be dismayed", and I love why, "The Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Regardless of circumstance or my ability there He is, to lead and to guide as the loving Father.
The apostle Paul gives this advice in the face of adversity. Ephesians 6:10 reads:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.I am to be strong in the Lord and His might. Paul says to do this by putting on the armor of God. There is enough there for several blog posts.
Joshua was a warrior and would have known the importance of being properly equipped for battle. There is effort on my part. I must put on the armor but God is the giver of each piece. Will I beseech Him for that which I need so desperately. He is generous.
Father, in result of my own stubbornness and pride that keeps me from being moldable, I find myself in over my head in anxious panic. I quickly come to the realization that I am finite and weaken easily. By your grace and strength alone with I stand the onslaught of life and spiritual dark forces. Teach me Lord daily to be Strong and Courageous, trusting solely in the strength of your might. Clothe me in your armor that I might remain secure to stand at the end of the day for your purposes. Your name is a strong tower and I ask this in the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.