As Filthy Rags
I stared miserably, into the mirror. I really had been deceived! Just like that fictional king who thought he was wearing the most beautiful royal clothes, yet, in reality, he carried not a ‘stitch’ on his body! Everyone else knew he was in the ‘altogether’ except him. He too lived a life of deception.
I had a ‘stitch’ on me but each one was flawed.
I looked back at my reflection. The clothes I wore were horrible, torn and dirty.
Filthy, stinking rags!
I studied the figure looking back at me, once more. My eyes focused on the large ragged holes in the ‘knees’ of my unwashed and faded jeans. They were reminders of the time I had stumbled and fallen as I travelled rocky and dangerous paths.
Then my eyes settled on the tatty old cardigan. The unsightly darned patches that had been worked on a number of times to try and repair the holes that the ‘moths’ of life had eaten, hadn’t really worked. They still looked awful!
My T-shirt! Oh, what a mess! My heart sank. All those stains - they would not wash off. No matter how often I had tried to get rid of them, those stubborn stains remained.
I turned away from the mirror.
Then I heard a voice filled with authority. I knew I had to listen. I could not, would not close my ears to this voice anymore. It was authoritative, yet, kindly.
‘All of us have become unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; ….’ (1)
I dropped to my knees. I tried to hold back tears, but still they started to flow.
‘Oh, God, forgive me’ I cried.
The voice spoke yet again.
‘’Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be like wool,…’ (2)
I felt something inside of me, like a warmth working it’s way from the inside out! I felt like I was being cleansed.
I was apprehensive as I lifted my head to gaze once more at myself in the mirror.
‘Who IS that person?’ I quizzed ,as I stared into the reflection of a woman! I must be dreaming; this isn’t me!
Maybe I was just going through a moment of wishful thinking. I had often ‘wished’ myself clean and
wearing new clothes. But, clothes like this?
It certainly WAS me, but my clothes were no longer disgusting, dirty, filthy or even stinky rags. I was wearing dazzling white attire and I had the most beautiful cape draped around me. Surely, a robe fit only for a regal person, not someone like me!
I stared in awe.
That voice again! What a loving tone it had.
‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing..’ (3)
I closed my eyes and a vision of a scarred hand was reaching down towards me. I stretched out to reach it. Fingers lovingly closed around mine and pulled me up securely.
‘I the Lord, have called you in righteousness, I will take hold of your hand.’ (4)
My heart soared, my spirit sang and my voice lifted in praise of God.
‘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.’ (5)
This was no dream! This is real!
I had been viewing , in the mirror, the truth about myself, and how I really was before God, and then, I had been awakened to the truth of Jesus who has dressed me fit
for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
I have become part of a ‘chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God’. (6)
Oh that I might declare the praises of the One who took me out of darkness, out of my filthy garb, to His wonderful light, clothed in His righteousness!
Now I know that I was made in His image!
1)Isaiah 64:8, 2)Isaiah 1:18, 3)Isaiah 43:18-19, 4)Isaiah 42:6, 5) Isaiah 61:10, 6) 1 Peter 2:9.
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