Nakedness means choosing clothes wisely
Nakedness means choosing clothes wisely
Who gets you dressed in the morning? Has your spouse or a friend ever got you dressed? Maybe after an operation, or if you are unable to dress yourself for whatever reason, but I'm guessing there aren't many couples who get each other dressed in the morning. I don’t imagine there are many roommates who do up each others buttons either other than on a wedding dress or ball gown?
Has anyone ever given you an item of clothing? Other than when you were too small to dress yourself, when you were given that item of clothing, did the person who gave you that item of clothing also dress you in it?
Why is it when God gifts me a garment of praise instead of a robe of despair, I assume that He will also get me dressed in it every morning?
And why do we even get dressed in the morning? To protect us from the cold or sun, to meet the requirements of a particular sport or event, to make a statement about who we are and what we are doing. Clothing communicates. It just isn't practical for the farmer to wear a suit. At yet, almost effortlessly as adults we know what clothes we need to use for each situation, only struggling when we are going into a new situation or when the dirty washing bin is full!
How I want to know how to put on the garment of praise effortlessly each morning - to make it an expected and necessary habit just like I expect myself to get out of my pajamas every morning!
We get dressed because it would be pretty embarrassing if we didn't. Not too many jobs accept naked workers, at least not in the field most of us are looking for work in!
Our spirits and souls too can be pretty vulnerable to exposure and damage in daily life too. The enemy is very happy to offer us a shroud of discouragement and weariness to numb the raw pain of the things life throws at us. It’s an ill-fitting robe blanket like a hotel bathrobe and it still leaves us exposed in places, but its a robe we so often accept because we feel like there is nothing else.
Just under a month ago we returned to Peru after two months traveling to the UK and the US. On arrival it felt like we were held upside down for two weeks by our feet and shaken hard! There was no smooth landing, but instead a miscarriage, team issues and daily life to attend to. Grief quickly became an unwelcome guest at our table, and I'd lost my appetite.
Last time we lost a child, I felt God’s presence and joy close. This time I felt sludgy, gooey heaviness. I felt overwhelmed, raw and exposed. Last time I felt God pick up my spirit and gently clothe me with joy as I collapsed in His arms. This time I have felt God hold out to me a garment of joy and encourage me to put it on. And how resistant and slow to embrace it I have been because I don’t want to humble myself and get on with it.
Because the truth is that in order to put on the garment of praise and joy God is offering me, I have had to take off (or ask God to take off) the ill-fitting robe the enemy seeks to place on me. I have had to allow my soul and spirit to be exposed, to acknowledge my ungrateful, woe-is-me heart. I have had to humble myself, choose to be thankful, to praise Him in song, to open my mouth and sing when I would rather hide under the bedcovers. And sometimes I have had to be patient too, where the overwhelming emotions have felt insurmountable and I am just waiting for God to send his angels to strengthen me again.
These 21 days are my conscious, determined effort to daily put on the garment of praise that God is offering me. There are days He helps me get dressed, of course, and that is His grace, but there are also days His grace is teaching me to get dressed myself in the beautiful robe He is offering me.
Let's put on joy together:
As you get dressed this week think:
Am I willing to accept a garment of praise today? Am I willing and able to put it on or do I need God to help me?
What practical step (thanksgiving, song...) can I take to get dressed with joy as I get dressed this week?
Praying that joy will clothe your spirit and soul today! This is Day 4 of a 21 Day challenge to put on joy in practical ways. You can receive these posts by email by clicking to sign up here.