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Leaving a mark

We all have a bad hair day once in a while, or one of those 'clothing crisis' mornings when nothing seems to fit or flatter your frame the way you want it to. Consider the outfit, thinking it would make you look good for whatever meeting or event lay ahead that day, then almost immediately you pull it off, replace it back on the hanger and return it to the rack? Your first impression when you picked it from the closet was that it 'would do' for the day, but you quickly found out it wouldn't 'do' at all! Maybe it is a "girl thing", but I think guys go through this frustration once in a while, too. They may just not admit it! There is one form of "attire" which will never disappoint, never look odd or old on us, and it is guaranteed to always flatter our 'frame'. It is the 'suit' that cannot be bought, but is 'hand-made' just for us.

I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul! He dressed me up in a suit of salvation, he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo and a bride a jeweled tiara. For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, so the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations. (Isaiah 61:10-11)

We are "dressed up" whenever we are wearing the "suit of salvation" - it never makes us feel as though it doesn't fit, or that it doesn't do for us what we imagined it would do! Nothing is more appropriate for the occasion, more flattering to our "frame", or produces the "wow" experience we so desperately need than this "suit of salvation" - our robe of righteousness. We can try to "cover up" our "frame" in many different ways, but only one thing truly covers us with regal beauty and magnificent honor - the blood of Jesus. Think of the wedding ceremony - bridegroom all decked out in the tux. Pants with a razor sharp crease, collar and cuffs starched, shoes gleaming with a fresh coat of polish, and the tails flowing gently down the back. He cuts a right fine image, does he not? No flaw is seen at that moment - only the beauty of his frame awaiting his bride.

The bride - all adorned in bejeweled gown, lotioned and powdered with the freshest of scents, hair all adorned by the veil, topped by the tiny tiara twinkling in the light. She captures the attention of those who behold her beauty - no flaw apparent at all. Did you ever notice how as she approaches the altar, her beauty seems to radiate even more so than it did when she was just in her dressing room? The groom's appreciation of his bride seems to be set on his face and glimmering in his eyes. The crowd is set at awe. The garments do much for those who wear them, don't they? Outfitted in a robe of righteousness - even in the more intimate times when we can really "let our hair down", so to speak - God outfits us with righteousness! We don't wear our bathrobes out into public, but tend to wear them around the house - where we are who we are - our true selves. Even in these times of "relaxed intimacy" of being ourselves, we are outfitted in something far better than we could ever imagine - right standing with our Savior. It is amazing, isn't it? God takes care of our "covering" both for public view and when the 'view' is simply for his private enjoyment!

Even the earth is adorned in beauty - an image of the righteousness of God. I marvel when I see the Arizona cacti in full bloom, or the desert floor covered with all manner of wildflower. I ponder how something so beautiful can come out of something so prickly and ugly - seemingly barren most of the time. The surface looks like nothing good could come from within - then as the desert floor begins to come alive, the blooms surface, adorning what looked so "unfruitful" with tremendous beauty and glory. The barrel cactus wears a crown of flowers. The saguaro wears many little crowns. The ocotillo blooms brightly with rich red flames at its tips. Even the floor of the desert is alive with orange poppies, pink desert peony, fuscia trailing windmills, and the rich redness of the firecracker bush. God leaves his mark even in nature. How marvelous that he takes such joy in leaving his mark in our lives, as well! Just sayin!

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