So, last week I posted that our minister had challenged us to make a plan to be ready to defend our faith. I began with myself – always a scary thing to do! Now I am ready to move on to the You (Me, You, God, You). This one is rather hard to ponder and plan for, since at this point I’m still wondering “Who are You?” But, if I had to take from experience, here’s Who You might be…
~a woman who has more scars than medals, more downfalls than victories; a woman who has tried the same thing over and over; all the while, looking for a different outcome – “this time it will be different…”
~a woman who has been deceived by the Deceiver into thinking this world is the only thing that can fill, that soap operas and movies and horoscopes are the real displays of happiness and fulfillment and love
~a man who tried church and youth group in high school, only to go to college and “grow up” (as he says)…God is for the weak of mind
~a man who has his thoughts so twisted about Church, religion, Jesus, and the Bible that he takes delight in taunting the Christian with bizarre tales from his Catholic past
~a woman who grew up hard and vowed she would make a lady of herself, and did; who went to church to meet with her friends in her Sunday School class; who lived “good”; who doesn’t brake the law; who tries to be the best she can be
~a man whose Momma was a strict and wonderful Christian lady and whose father went to church because he knew it was the right thing to do; who did a lot of looking with his eyes and acting with his hands but was a good citizen and didn’t break the law; who knows what’s right and wrong, but knows he doesn’t do it
~a girl who is in the midst of one of the hardest times in a girl’s life; who wants to be cool, have friends, look good, know things, be independent, be older, have a reason to smile
~a girl who has been married 3 times, has 3 children, has done drugs, drinks, and men; who wants the dream but doesn’t want to work for it
…there are so many more; these are just a few I know. I know no other way to be prepared for them than to dress right.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Colossians 3:12-14 The Message
I have been reading a great book on this, as well as hiding Colossians in my heart this year, but to actually “put them on” is quite an experience. I can’t recall the exact day or situation, but I remember asking God to specifically clothe me with compassion. I don’t know that it will always feel that supernatural, but I did feel something supernatural coming over my head, heart, and spirit that day. It was as if I was telling my own personal Designer what outfit I wanted to wear, and He got just the right fit. I suppose the mental picture of us walking around town in our underwear kind of shakes the mind a bit, but I think we rarely feel so ashamed walking out our door without the clothes God commands us to put on. It’s not just a command. These are handcrafted, finely stitched, perfectly fitting, royal garments given to us by our Father the King! In every story I’ve ever heard where a princess or prince leaves their castles in disguise, the idea to just blend in and be okay with it never works out. They find some injustice they want to stand up for, only to find, since they are a commoner, no one cares what they think. It’s only when they reveal who they really are, by showing their royal garments or crown, do people take notice and listen. So, we can try to blend in with the world and think we can live like everyone else and still make the same “royal” impact, but the reality will disappoint. This world really is craving for the different – the very fulfillment we have in Christ – because they were made just like you and I…in the image of our Creator and with eternity in our hearts.
Time to get dressed, I’ve got to go meet You…