Isaiah 61:10 – “He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.”
During the 1960s, Montana, Idaho, and Washington State were popular vacation destinations for Southern Alberta families. Gasoline was cheap, and the Canadian and American dollars were at par. Families loaded their cars and tent trailers with sleeping bags, air mattresses, and all the other camping gear necessary and headed south. As food prices were much lower in the States than in Canada, it only made sense to pack only enough food for the road trip. You could always buy more provisions upon arrival. Such was the case for my family. Our suitcases were light, I assumed my mother knew we’d be living in our summer clothes and didn’t overpack.
One day during one such camping trip to Montana, my mother made sure we were presentable enough to head into town. It was a designated shopping day! Many of the parked cars along the main street bore Alberta license plates. Weary mothers led their sunburned children in and out of every clothing store in town buying items in multiple sizes. Fathers wandered down the road to do some shopping of their own, visiting liquor stores and stocking up on cigarettes.
During the last few days of camping, we were allowed to wear our new clothes and shoes. My mother took advantage of the large-load laundry facilities at the campground. It would be one less thing to do upon our arrival home.
As we packed up camp, I thought it was strange that my older brother was wearing an undershirt under a long-sleeved shirt. The weather was still blazing hot at the end of August. That couldn’t be comfortable. I didn’t have time to process his odd clothing choice as my mother urged me to put on a new pair of thick winter tights under a new skirt. She then instructed me to put on an undershirt and a blouse. I topped it off with my brand new fall jacket.
With all those layers on, I was miserable. Nothing fit properly. My pretty new skirt looked baggy. The undershirt tugged against my sunburned shoulder and the blouse bunched up under my new fall jacket. My siblings and I crammed in the back of my parent’s sedan, surrounded by sundry items that didn’t fit the already over-packed trunk.
When we came to the border crossing, my mother stayed in the car to watch over us. My father entered the customs hut to declare the cigarettes and liquor he was carrying back to Canada. After what seemed an eternity in the stifling heat, the border guard peered in our car’s trunk. After a quick glance at the kids packed like sardines in the back seat, then waved us through.
At the first rest stop down the road, my father pulled over. My mother declared we could all change into lighter clothes as the car was so hot. Looking back as an adult, I honestly don’t think my parents were trying to avoid duty charges. However, any clothing not run through the camp washing machine at least twice we wore that day.
Thank God he clothes us in robes and armour that fit perfectly
As long as we attire ourselves the way God intended, we will never feel constricted or overburdened. However, if we try to place God’s armour over our cloaks of self-protection, it won’t fit well. If we try to wear our self-righteous rags under his robes of righteousness, we will find them chafing.
Here’s the good news! If we leave the trappings of self-reliance and duplicity at the cross, we step into the unrestrictive freedom found only through surrender.
Ephesians 6:11-14 – “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The Lord calls us to put on his armour as well as the elegant robe of righteousness he provides. Together, they will always be the perfect fit!
The more layers we try to hide under, the more complicated our lives become. What are you trying to protect? Your image? Your reputation? Your heart? Is it time to shed the excess and allow the Lord to be your protection? Are you uncomfortable in your own skin? Are you unable to pursue your dreams because you are too busy maintaining your persona? Have you lost contact with your true self? Take the first step and be vulnerable with God, who will always have your best interests at heart and who is your fierce protector. Start stripping of the facade and get to know the real you.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
Until Next Week
2019 Katherine Walden
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