Have Thine Own Way
“Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mould me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still.”
“Have Thine Own Way, Lord.”
A hymn by Adelaide A. Pollard.
Are you humming that familiar hymn now? I am, but instead of singing the words from memory, I am concentrating on their meaning. “Mould me and make me after thy will” The words don’t say, “Lord this is what I want to do now make it happen.” This hymn was inspired by a simple prayer of an elderly woman at a prayer meeting. Miss Pollard heard this woman pray, “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord – just have your way with our lives…” I think of this type of submission to God’s will as I read John 2:1-11 and the story of Jesus changing water into wine.
“When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” John 2:3
“His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:5
Nowhere do you read in these verses that Mary told Jesus what to do or how to fix this problem. Mary simply reported this disruptive issue. Mary’s words to the servants reveal that she was willing to let her Son do whatever He pleased. She trusted His path. Mary knew Jesus would do what was right.
Such a hard principle to yield to isn’t it? I want to control my future. I want to be in charge of my destiny. It is really difficult to yield to the Lord’s will. I am a control freak. There I admit it. I want to steer the rudders of my ship. I want to be my own captain. Even though I can’t ride a horse or guide one to save my life, I do not want to hand the reins over to The Horse Whisperer. I want to be in charge and go where I want to go.
Adelaide Pollard penned the words to this famous hymn during a time when Miss Pollard was trying to raise funds to make a trip to Africa and serve as a missionary there. She was unsuccessful. She had her life planned out and it wasn’t going according to her plan. She heard the prayer, “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord – just have your way with our lives…” Miss Pollard didn’t make it to Africa at this time. Instead she went home and wrote this beloved hymn, “Have Thine own way.”
Captain O Captain. I want to navigate my own ship. I want to steer clear of turbulent waters. I don’t want Jesus to take the wheel. Inside of me lurks a control freak. I want to take charge of the situation at hand and tell Jesus the best way to handle it. However, as I contemplate Mary’s example here, she yielded. She simply brought the problem to Jesus and left it in his hands.
The prophet, Isaiah, made several comparisons to the nation Israel being like clay in The Potter’s hands.
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands?’ Isaiah 45:9
Have you ever told Jesus how He needs to fix this situation you are in? I have! Have you ever thought you gave your problem to Jesus but then later returned and picked it up again so that you can fix it yourself? I have!
We need to learn from Mary’s example. She simply reported the dilemma and then told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” She exited the stage pointing to her Son. There is only one right answer for every problem you face. “Point others to Jesus.”
The last stanza of this hymn:
“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.
Because an elderly woman once prayed: “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord – just have your way with our lives…”
Sometimes our lives don’t turn out as we planned. Can you pray, “Just have Your Way”?