Today we touched the pottery at Anthropologie. We ran our fingers along the the insides of flowered cups, across markings made to identify their sizes. One-third. One-half. One-fourth. Measuring cups. I think of the verse I am rooting in my heart these days, mixing in the ingredients for faith:

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12.3

It's so easy to trip on the goodness of God these days; He's everywhere if I just look. Even the second-best things start to look like him. I settle for a little of this and a little of that, until my cookery has resulted in a mess and I'm back again for His sort of Wholeness.

I think about how God measures out our faith and this makes me bristle. Faith is the one thing I like to think I can control in this two-way relationship. He can dole the grace and love and salvation and holiness He wants, but let me have my faith. Let me cup it in my trembling hands and offer that alone to Him. Sometimes, though, I am like the father of the demoniac "I believe, help my unbelief." I do it and He does it. It's a joint venture.

But today, today as I touch measuring cups in a beautiful store, I think about how He measures out the right amount of faith for us to give back to Him. We boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence, but it's really just His kindness that draws us there. I am stuck on that. Too often my boldness gets in the way of His kindness. And so I thrust my way into situations, not hearing the small voice to my left and right, "Don't go there. It's not right. It's not good timing." Instead I take out my own measuring cups, walk across wire, dare God to defy my deft abilities.

See what I can do? See what I can measure out to You? See how far I can go on these cups of faith?

And He does.

He sees.

He sees and says, "Child, that's why I said you should not think of yourself more highly than you ought. Because you can't do it. You can try. But it's better, it'll taste better, it'll come out better, if I do it."

So today is a humbling day. Tomorrow will be too. I anticipate that this lesson will take me weeks and years to learn, I'm just too good at falling back on my own propensity to find God on my terms.

(photos from Anthropologie--aren't they pretty?)