Many of us have sung the old hymn “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” It reminds us of the text from Jeremiah 18:1-4 that proclaims God as the grand potter of life and we are merely the clay in God’s hands. The words to this famous hymn were written by Adelaide Pollard, a native of Bloomfield, Iowa. According to “Women of Chrstianity.com” Ms. Pollard wrote this song as a response to a disappointment in her life. She was trying to raise money for a mission trip to Africa and she was unable to find the needed funds. During a prayer meeting one evening at her home church she overheard an elderly church member pray “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives.” Touched by the faith of this saint Adelaide went home and wrote the entire hymn that night.
Ms. Pollard had an extensive ministry as a teacher at the Missionary Training School at Nyack-on-the Hudson and as an itinerant Bible teacher. She worked with a number of evangelists who held revivals and healing services. Interestingly enough, she finally had the opportunity to visit Africa later in her life fulfilling her greatest dream.
All of us can identify with the experience of disappointment and unfulfilled wishes. It helps to remember that God’s molding of us is always for our own good in order to “make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy (Romans 9:22). God’s timing is never our timing and God’s ways are higher than our ways. Ms. Pollard finally visited Africa but only after God used her for other purposes and in the end she was more prepared for her trip when the time came.
During this season of Lent pray aloud the words of Ms. Pollard’s hymn and renew your resolve to accept God’s will for your life, whatever that might look like. Fear and disappointment can turn to trust and praise as we experience the good that God has planned for us.
“Have Thine Own way, Lord, have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have Thine own way Lord! Have Thine own way
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit ‘till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me