Saturday, 15 November 2014

Love Covers

When I was young and growing up,
there was always a comforter
on the end of my bed.

I remember one in particular.
It was white, and all over it
were pictures of beautiful ladies
dressed in Cinderella gowns.

Some nights before going to sleep,
I would stand on my bed
and drape the comforter
around my shoulders.

Pretending to be one of them,
I would parade elegantly
around the edges of my bed,
as elegantly as I could 
on a saggy bed 
with a comforter 
winding about my feet.

For a few minutes
my bedroom became a palace
and I was a princess,
the daughter of a king.
With my old pyjamas covered
I had no problem feeling
beautiful, important and special.

God has been in the clothing business
since the beginning of time.

In fact all clothing stores,
closets, hangers, washers, dryers, ironing boards
can trace their origin back to the Garden of Eden.

When Adam and Eve sinned,
they knew, for the very first time,
the feeling of guilt and shame.
And what did they do?
They hid and tried to cover themselves
with fig leaves.

God says in Psalm 139, 
we are fearfully and wonderfully made,
yet why is it,
we think we're not?

Our world today is suffering.
there are people 
who are trying to “dress” themselves.

How does society value people?
Turn on your TV.
Who gets recognition?
The “beautiful”.

Look at all the makeover shows;
What Not To Wear
Ten Years Younger,
Biggest Loser.

Notice the magazine racks by the checkout.

We could go on down the line 
with how our culture places value on people 
and the many other factors 
that influence how we see ourselves. 
Possessions, wealth, and fame. 

What do we end up with? 
People who step on the treadmill of performance 
and strive to be good enough 
yet never quite get there,
dressing themselves
in “fig” leaves. 

But fig leaves 
don’t cover very well 
and they won’t last.

God’s acceptance and value of us 
has nothing to do with
how beautiful we are on the outside, 
whether we’re wrinkle free, 
trim and fit, 
how much money we make 
or how educated we are. 

God’s love for us is unconditional.

When Adam and Eve sinned,
what did God do? 

Genesis 3:21 tells us... 
the Lord God made clothes from animal skins 
for the man and his wife and
He dressed them.

He did what every parent 
has done for their child since. 

He dressed them. 

Love provides.
Love covers.

How do we know God cares? 
He does the same for us.

How often do we fail Him 
and fall short of what He asks of us? 
Like Eve we “eat the fruit”, 
we disobey. 
We say the wrong thing, 
act the wrong way 
and then in our guilt 
we try to justify our actions.

Out comes the needle and thread 
and we start sewing fig leaves together. 
We try to cover ourselves 
with excuses and good deeds.

But just as God went looking for Adam and Eve, 
He comes looking for us.
But this time,
it’s not an animal skin 
He has over His arm. 
It’s a robe of righteousness,
an eternal covering of purity.

Fine linen.

And we can hear Him say,
Come close,
those fig leaves won’t do.
Be still.
Let me dress you.

As we humble ourselves
in surrender and obedience, 
He covers us.

There is a story I read many years ago
that is forever
etched on my memory.

It was told by a missionary to China...

It was Christmas Eve and a young Chinese woman
was out visiting some friends. 
She was about due to have a baby. 
On her way home she got caught in a storm.

As she was trying to make her way in the blinding snow
she realized she was going in labour. 
She took shelter under a train trestle. 
During the night she gave birth to a baby boy.

The missionary who was living in the area, 
got up the next morning 
and felt very strongly to go for a walk. 
Even though things needed to be done for Christmas dinner 
she couldn’t put off the urgency to go for a walk.

While walking over the trestle 
she heard the cry of a baby. 
She found the baby alive and well, 
but the mother had perished in the cold. 
During the night she had removed all of her garments 
and covered them around the infant. 
The missionary brought the baby boy into her home 
and raised him as her son.

Many times down through the years 
she told him of his mother’s sacrifice. 

When he reached a certain age 
he told her he would like to visit his mother’s grave. 
It was winter but she agreed. 
When they arrived she walked a little ways away
to give him some privacy.

As he stood there he began to speak,
“Mother how cold were you on that night?” 
And as he was speaking 
he removed his outer coat. 
“Were you this cold mother?” he asked. 
He took off his shirt, 
his pants, 
and socks. 
With tears running down his face 
he covered her grave with the clothing.

The mother had given her life 
so her son could live 
and the Lord Jesus Christ
has done the same for us.

He took off robes of Heavenly majesty 
to be born in a stable.

At the age of thirty-three, 
He took off earthly garments 
and laid down His life 
to clothe and cover us 

Our worth has nothing to do with imagination,
as my Cinderella robe,
but it has everything
to do with 

When we invite Jesus into our heart,
He wraps us in His love.

His robe of righteousness 
becomes ours and we 
never have to worry
about measuring up.

Just as I covered my old pyjamas,
He covers all our sin 
and we become 
a child 
of the King.

  This old hymn says it perfectly,
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand 
before His throne.

Thank you Father.