Likewise the Spirit help us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8: 26-28 (NRSV)
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 (NRSV)
J. Leland Collins, Jr. is from Virginia. During a trip to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, they had the opportunity to see a glassblower at work. It was fascinating to watch. He blew through the long tube to produce a bubble of molten glass and continued to grow and shape it through heat and pressure. He then added what appeared to be colored dust and eventually produced a beautiful bowl that they now have on their fireplace mantel.
This reminded J. Leland of the prophet Isaiah's words in which a similar process makes us beautiful and useful for God. While the glassblower added the "colored dust" to give the bowl its beauty, it was the heat and pressure together that formed its final shape and substance. J. Leland did not always understand or like the "pressures" or "heat" of life's tough times. But he believes that God uses them to make him the person God intends for him to be. He believes in the love and goodness of God. When we place our lives in God's hands each day, we can trust that God is at work in us for our ultimate spiritual good and for God's ultimate glory.
In these rough times, it is more important than ever to place our lives in God's hands! He loves us and He knows what is best, even when it feels like the worse.
Prayer: O God help us to see every situation as an opportunity to become more like your Son, in Jesus' name, amen.