Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)
For several months now, I’ve had massage therapy every couple of weeks. While I guess you can say I earned the right to it doing some stupid things on horseback resulting in injuries to my neck and shoulders, I consider it a privilege. Well, I should just admit it, even an indulgence. I do have a prescription for the therapy because a doctor deemed it medically necessary, but I feel a tad guilty about the pampering. I feel better physically, but the greatest benefit has been stress reduction. Jen, the massage therapist, says she has rarely met someone as tense as I was at my first session. Well, I was pretty nervous about taking my clothes off and having a stranger touch me! But, we won’t go there in this post. Jen concentrates mostly on my shoulders, back and neck, but occasionally, she will wind up the session working on my feet. Oh, the bliss. The doctor says I carry my stress in my shoulders, but Jen laughs and says I carry around so much it transfers right down to my toes. Despite how good I feel when the session is over, not every moment is pleasant. In fact, a lot of it is downright painful. When she goes to working on my knotted muscles, poking and prodding trying to get them to relax, it’s like someone has taken an ax and lodged it in my back. Once, when she put her elbow in my gluteus maximus, I just about came right off the table. Sometimes, she grips the individual muscles so hard that I want to yell, “Uncle!” At this week’s session, Jen spent almost all her time on my right shoulder and the neck muscles in that area. She rubbed and pushed and worked, but every time she thought she was done, the muscles would tense up again. In fact, my shoulder actually kept rising off the table and she finally held it down in place while she massaged. At one point, you could hear faint popping noises as she worked the area and when I asked what it was, she said it was the muscles saying, “No, we won’t give in.” She sighed and said, “It’s really hard to get the right effect when they won’t relax and let me do my job.” Then, I willed my body to unwind. I breathed deeply and imagined releasing all the tension of the week. It helped some and in the end, she was able to make me feel oh, so much better. My reward was another awesome foot massage before session’s end. As Jen’s hands worked their way over my body, I remembered these verses and thought of how we are the work of our Father’s hands. Like a potter molding the clay, He wants to make us into His image as well. The more we resist, the harder His job is and the more pressure He must apply. Quit struggling and rest. His work is for your good.