We like to ask little kids: What do you want to be when you grow up?
My mom kept a log of things I wanted to be. I was fairly consistent: I wanted to be a dancer, a singer, an actress, a teacher, and a writer. Never once did I put that I wanted to be a nurse. (In sixth grade, I decided I wanted to be the first woman president, but I've changed my mind about that one!)
I've done most of those things. Well, sort of. I sing all the time, but I doubt if anyone will pay me to sing. I danced in an Irish dancing troupe until I was in sixth grade. (I still can do part of the jig.) I acted in all kinds of church dramas until a few years ago. And right now I chase after writer and teacher. I had put those things on hold for a while, but it really does feel like it's God pushing me in this direction.
I guess my point is this: God makes and forms me for his own purposes, not mine. He forms me "as seems best for him." (18:4) He has a plan, but if I disobey him, turn my back on him, if the form he shapes is marred, he can change his mind and make me into something else entirely.
To Israel, he says, " . . . can I not do with you as the potter does? Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand."
Their rebellion changes God's plans.
His discipline is designed to bring Israel to repentance, to restore their shape.
My rebellion changes God's plans.
God's discipline is designed to bring me to repentance, to restore my shape.
I want God's plans--not mine--to shape my choices, my plans, my purpose.