Tore Up From the Floor Up

Surrendering your all to God also includes surrendering your desire to remain the same. And that’s pretty hard especially when you’re most likely pretty content with the way things are. Change is scary. Change is hard. But in order to walk in the new way that God has prepared for you (Isaiah 43:18-19), you have to surrender your will and your control to Him…and then prepare to be changed!

I love the poem, The Creation, by James Weldon Johnson. I particularly like these verses:

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled Him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;

This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till He shaped it in His own image;

Then into it He blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.

Can’t you just imagine the time, the care, the attention and the love that God poured into making man; poured into creating you and creating me? Just imagine, “God using His divine thumb as He smoothed the clay into the form of a head, a torso, legs, arms, hands, and feet. I imagine the attention given to shaping the ears, the nose, the eyes, and the lips and the delicate care given to chiseling each strand of hair” (Naked and Unashamed, pg. 120). And if God, our Creator, the One who knows the number of times your heart beats in a minute, the things that make you smile and the things that bring you deep sadness; then wouldn’t it be best if You allowed Him to direct your life?

I recall a recent visit to the Terracotta Army archaeological site in Xian, China. The terracotta army is a collection of re-built terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It was the belief of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, and most of the citizens of that day, that after ones death, you would spend five years in an afterworld and in order to be set up in the after world, one would need to take whatever they’d need with them. So many would bury tiny replicas of houses, chariots, people, etc. with them in their tomb or place of burial.  And then they’d have these things in the afterlife. And if you lived a good life in the afterworld, you could then return to this world reincarnated into something special. So Emperor Qin Shi Huang decided that in order to have power and protection and wealth in the afterworld, he would need to build his army and his kingdom, to be buried with him so he’d have it when he died. So he employed hundreds of thousands of workers to build over 8,000 terracotta soldiers, 100 chariots, and 600 horses. These sculptures were intricately patterned and each one unique in design. And millions of dollars were spent on this endeavor.

In 1974, farmers discovered pieces of the terracotta army figures and a huge excavation project is under way---uncovering every piece, preserving the pieces, and then putting the figures back together again.

I watched in fascination, thinking, “Wow, what a great historical wonder. Wow, what a waste of time, resources, and energy. Definitely then. Maybe even now.” All of this putting back together and the statues will be just as lifeless now as they were then. I also remember thinking, I’m so glad that my reconstruction process is full of meaning and purpose, with an end result of a life transformed.

I know it sounds difficult, but I guarantee you that your life in the hands of the Potter is sweeter than anything you could ever hope for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). I remember the day I begrudgingly threw up my hands in surrender, and not because I wanted to, but because I had no other choice. I begged Christ to take the wheel, because my life in my hands was a disaster in the making. Those few words, “Jesus, I give” was all it took for Him to turn my life around and to get me on the right course, a far better, greater, more fulfilling course!

Now don’t get me wrong, for those of you have never been broken, the molding process can be, actually mostly likely will be, painful. Because in order to mold you, He’ll have to break you. But don’t worry, for once He puts you back to together, gives you a Heavenly makeover, you’ll be the masterpiece He designed you to be (Isaiah 64:8). And for those of you already broken, what do you have to lose? 

Surrender your all to Him today. “Willingly surrender everything to the will of your heavenly Father. That includes all of your hopes, your fears, your longings and desires, your most cherished possessions, your relationships, your plans, and those you love most. Place your lives in the hands of the Potter and depend on Him completely” (Naked and Unashamed, pg 123).

Get ‘tore up from the floor up’ - God style - and I guarantee your life will never be the same again.

Memory Verse for the Week: But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8


  • How does God’s creation speak to you?
  • How does God’s creation speak of His majesty and His greatness?
  • Get some clay or some Play-Doh and work with it, making whatever you wish. How does this process make you feel?
  • How does your clay work compare to Jeremiah 18:1–12 and to Isaiah 64:8?
  • Imagine your re-molded life. What would your life in God’s hands look like compared to your life now?

Happily surrendered,