Hands Off: I Can Do It Myself!
As we enter this New Year – 2013 – I’d like to encourage you to ask, and allow, God to direct your life this year. This article is a re-post from two years ago; I believe most of us need a reminder, from time to time, to place our life in the Potter’s hands – and fully trust Him to shape us according to His master design. Enjoy and apply.
Have you ever taught a Sunday School class? There are priceless lessons to be learned there from the children.
One Sunday I taught a group of kids in our junior church hour. Due to a shortage of teachers, it was necessary to combine those of kindergarten age with the kids up through 4th grade. We were talking about God keeping His promises to us; when He says something, He does it.
I asked the kids to list some of God’s promises on the dry erase board. Of course, everybody wanted to write on the board, including one very precocious 5 year-old named Hannah, who was just beginning to print. She went confidently to the board. I asked her to write, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” She said, “I don’t know how to write that.” So I assigned an older child, Katie, to assist her.
Katie proceeded to take the marker from the younger child, but I stopped her and suggested that she place her hand over Hannah’s hand to help her to form the letters to spell the words. As Katie attempted to move Hannah’s hand in the shape of each letter, Hannah persisted in trying to move the marker in a different direction.
“Hannah,” said Katie, “make your hand like Jello so I can move it.” It worked for one letter, then, Hannah tried to take over again, though she had no idea how to spell the words. Frustrated with the process Katie again gave the directive, “Hannah, make your hand like Jello.”
The two girls worked through the short verse, but at the last word, “you”, Hannah insisted she could do it by herself. Katie removed her hand and Hannah formed a Y without the tail, then, a very good O, followed by an upside down U. Katie took the marker from Hannah, added the tail to the Y, and put the U right-side up. I did not miss the obvious lesson in that “team” endeavor.
Sometimes we think we know what we are doing and charge full-steam ahead on our own strength or know-how. Then we realize we “don’t know how to write that”. However, we don’t want to turn the marker over to God, so we let Him “help us”. But the battle has just begun; we shift back and forth between letting Him guide our hand and taking the control back into our own hand.
After a while, God says to us, “let go of the controls” – in other words, “make your hand like Jello”. When we do become Jello, things turn out well. But we get tired of not being in control, so we attempt to take over again. Finally He says, “Okay, do it your way.” And we proceed to do our immature, barely legible job while He stands patiently on the side-line, knowing He will eventually have to add the tail to our “Y” and put the “U” right-side up.
How about you? Is it hard for you to “make your hand like Jello”?
Posted on January 11, 2013, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, God Encounters, Reflections and tagged Christianity, control, cooperation, flexibility, illustrations, kids, learning, spirituality, trust, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.