Source: Uncommon Decency by Richard Mouw. Intervarsity Press, 1992. pg 161-2.
Keywords: patience, grace, sovereignty, clay pots, humility, submission
"The Mennonites have a nice phrase that is helpful here. They say we are living "in the time of God's patience." For God's own good reasons he has not yet ushered in the eternal kingdom. God is presently showing patience toward the human race, providing the unsaved with the opportunity to repent and the saved with the opportunity to learn the ways of obedience.
My Roman Catholic friends also have a helpful saying. It comes from St. Ignatius: "God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines." Even though we haven't yet been perfected, God uses us to work his purposes. We do not need to see the details of the Big Picture. It's enough that we yield ourselves to be instruments of God's mysterious purposes.
"It is his work," Mother Teresa told a Time interviewer a few years ago. "I am like a little pencil in his hand. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used."