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 his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10 (NIV)
As I shuffled the clothes hanging in the closet in my daughter’s room to the side, I noticed a pink cardigan that still had the tags attached to it.
My mind went back to a fun filled mom and daughter day. In the store we were both drawn to the pretty pink cardigan, and when she emerged from the fitting room it was perfect in every way. Today, the treasure was hanging in the closet with the tags on it, yet to be worn. Clearly, this had to have been an oversight in wardrobe planning!
A week later I was in town running errands. I was distracted by the next items on my agenda, but turned my heart to the Lord in prayer. I had been invited to speak at an upcoming ladies conference, and was seeking direction on what it was I was to share.
As I was praying the image of the pink cardigan, with the tags still attached came to mind.
The pretty pink cardigan was a gift, that had been purchased for a price. My momma’s heart intended for her to wear the garment, and in doing so she would be clothed in the warmth, comfort, and joy that such a gift would bring. Instead, though the cardigan was hers, she had yet to experience the blessing of wearing it.
The Lord had also purchased a garment for me. A garment of righteousness that came at the greatest expense ever paid. Righteousness that was mine the moment I received the gift of His love, the moment I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
Tears welled up as I considered how often had I gone into my own ‘closet’, needing something to be clothed in, and disregarded the righteousness of Christ that was purchased on my behalf. All too often I had chosen to wear some other garment that was ill-fitting, and never intended for me as a child of God.
How often had I chosen to be clothed in an identity based on what I do, or what I have done, as opposed to who Jesus says I am?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
How often had I chosen the garment of guilt or shame, as opposed to clothing myself in His truth…that as His ransomed daughter, there is now therefore no condemnation for me, as I am in Christ Jesus.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1
How often have I chosen to be robed in a cloak of fear, instead of being clothed in the assurance that His perfect love casts out all fear.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. – 1 John 4:18
Tears ran down my cheeks as I recognized how frequently I have robed myself in far less than the lavishness of Christ, for something else that paled in comparison. I cried out to Jesus in repentance, and was instantly comforted and assured of His enduring love and patience with me.
When I arrived home that day, I took the pretty pink cardigan out of the closet, and removed the tags, and my little girl wore the garment that had been purchased just for her. There was immense joy in the wearing!
A few short weeks later I shared with the ladies the story of a pretty pink cardigan, and how we must be so careful to not overlook being clothed in His righteousness. Righteousness that His death, burial, and resurrection has won for us.
What peace, freedom, and joy is found in the lavish clothing of our Father’s Love!