Today I’m altering costumes. It’s big show night tonight for my daughter and her outfit is too big. If you want to dance in something, it needs to fit really well. There’s no time to get the right size, so I’m making a few adjustments.
I’m also wearing clothes that don’t fit properly. I lost a little bit of weight recently. Not much, just enough in fact to make my jeans fall down if I try to run anywhere. I really need to find the time to get a new pair of jeans that actually fit me. But until then I’m just getting by with the old ones and making sure I hold onto them if I need a turn of speed.
This theme of badly fitting clothes in my life at the moment reminds me of this verse from Ephesians 4: 22-24
You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (NRSV)
When we chose to follow Jesus and accepted his gift of a new heart and a fresh start, our old ways of living stopped fitting. It’s as if we have become a totally different shape. But we often keep wearing bits of our old lives out of habit. The list in Ephesians is pretty long: malice, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, stealing, harsh words…
Those ways just don’t fit the new you. You need to break the habit of wearing them.
Firstly: They don’t suit you. They’re not your colour.
Secondly: You can’t dance in something that doesn’t fit.
Why not ask God today if you’re still wearing something that doesn’t really fit you. Something that’s restricting your movement or stopping you from running forward.
It might be something from Paul’s list, or something more difficult to spot, like the negative things you whisper to yourself or say about yourself, you’ll never amount to anything, you can’t do that or I’m rubbish, I’m useless. Or it might be something hidden away for fear someone will see it.
Ask God, because he has priorities. He knows which thing he wants to help you deal with today. It’s not meant to be an exercise in thinking about all the things which are awful about ourselves, but in asking God to pinpoint the one thing he’d like us to get free from first.
Whatever it is, ask God to help you to take it off. Then accept his all-covering forgiveness and pick up the new clothes that he has for you to wear:
Clothes that fit well enough to dance in.
P.S For those of you who’ve noticed – this is painted in acrylics instead of watercolour – a temporary departure! It’s a favourite of mine and I wish there was a word for the-freedom-generated-by-the-dance. If there was, that would be its title!
P.P.S Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of Postcards from Heaven. If you have time to go and write a review on the Amazon or BRF listing that would be wonderful x