Her closet was the last place in the house that was largely as Bev left it 14 months ago. For months I avoided giving her clothing away. Seeing those jackets, dresses, skirts, and sweaters hanging there was comforting in a way but now, it was time to pack it all up. Yesterday, while I took things off of hangars, I held the ‘favorites’ and memories danced through my mind. “She wore this to Amy’s wedding. This dress was a Sunday favorite. I bought that one for her when we visited Massachusetts.”
Bev was careful about her appearance, dressing modestly but attractively, always lovely in my eyes. But, her greater beauty did not come from those ‘rags’ she put on. She was given a robe of righteousness by her Savior, a thing of true and lasting adorning.
What are you wearing, Christian? Are you as concerned with the way your soul is dressed as you are about the style and fit of those shirts or skirts that you drape around the body?
Like my lovely late wife, someday you will leave the clothes hanging in your closet. No matter where you bought them, how well they fit, or the label stitched into them – they are for the moment. But, if you ‘put on Christ’ He dresses you in a robe that you will wear into His Presence! The prophet wrote – “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10, NIV)
I loved buying clothing with Bev! I would watch her sort through the racks, offering my opinion about what ‘looked good’ on her. My taste always tended toward things brighter and more costly since she was both modest and frugal. I would coax her to trust my eyes. In that way I ‘dressed’ her and she liked it in spite of her protests about an outfit being too expensive or too ‘loud.’ Those memories are sweet as they were moments of great fun.
Do you know that Jesus has purchased a suit of holiness for us at His expense, right standing with God and radiance of spirit we could never provide for ourselves? It is ours for the asking! Have you put on Christ? Paul urges us “with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)
Are you hanging onto old clothing of the soul; hatred, refusing to forgive, valuing the superficial, caring for Self assiduously? Those rags may be comfortable, but they are not beautiful. So, throw them away and accept that beautiful outfit bought by Christ and presented with grace! You won’t be leaving that behind in a closet to be worn by another. That holy robe will be your adorning in the Presence of the King, to His delight.
Dress us in beauty, Father.
Help us to discard our self-righteousness,
To let You make us resplendent with holiness,
Radiant with the Spirit.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.