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My favorite shorts

One of my most comfortable pair of 'knock about the house' shorts has developed a stress tear at a very 'not so easy to fix' location. I will attempt to fix it, but a stress tear is kind of hard to fix because it follows the path knit in the shorts and it isn't parallel to the seam! So, try as I might, these may be 'beyond fixing' in the long run. Try as we might, we can attempt to bring the frayed edges of the tears in our lives known as "stress tears" together without the tear being noticed, but it is almost impossible. Things just don't match up and if we simply join at the point of 'stress', the surrounding fabric of our lives has also been weakened, so that patch is not going to last long either.

“Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. And no one puts new wine into old wine skins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wine skins so that both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:16-17)

We experience these same kind of "stress-tears" in our character, commitments, and constitution. The things we have become so familiar and comfortable with, like our little habits or routines, actually "fit" us well, but are riddled with weakened areas that can "burst-out" at anytime. The very moment that the stress of life gets a little too much to contain, we experience the "stress-tear" and it leaves us feeling a little too exposed! A lot of us think that the answer to those "stress-tears" is to simply apply a little patch here and there, until what was exposed is covered up well again. Some of these "patches" are not all that bad - like when we attempt to incorporate prayer as a "patch" to our worries. The thing we don't recognize is that the entire "garment" of worry is what is giving us the trouble - patch one area and another will give out under the stress of life! It isn't the tear that is the problem - it is the quality of the fabric we are attempting to bind together!

Jesus doesn't offer us "patches" in our lives. He offers us completely new garments! He says to be clothed with his righteousness - to be outfit with his graces, power, and authority. The "patches" are our doing - the new garments are his! In various times in our 'fashion history' as a nation, patched jeans were the "in" thing - but that did not last long. Now kids wear purposefully "distressed" or 'whole-riddled' jeans - paying good money for those "stress-tears" in perfectly new fabric! I may not fully understand the "statement" of such attire, but I do know that my Lord is not keeping up with the latest fads when it comes to our lives! His garments are perfect - fitting us to a "T" and adorning us with just what we need in those areas of our life where character, commitments, or constitution are a little too 'stressed' and 'flawed'! I don't know about you, but the times of simply "patching-up" the failures of my life have not been working and they need to be over. I am serious - we need this spiritual wardrobe exchange of our ragged garments for his beautiful garments! Isn't it about time that we evaluate the "patch" jobs of our lives and truly shed the old garments in exchange for his new ones? Just askin!

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