When I was a young girl I wore jeans, cutoffs, tank tops and tee-shirts. I played outside, I climbed trees, and I didn’t worry about a little dirt under my nails. Barbed wire fences didn’t stop me and I still have some of the scars to prove it. To me those bloody scrapes on my legs were like merit badges to a boy scout. Every summer evening I organized my cousins, brothers and neighbors into teams. We played kick ball and volleyball until dark. Some say I cheated in those games, but I’m not tellin. My hair was combed but not styled. My face was clean but not for long. I didn’t put value in makeup or perfume. I was a girl who would punch a guy if he asked her out.
I had a surprise when puberty welcomed me into my teenage years. In my mind nothing had changed, but my mother noticed. She saw a fresh young lady in desperate need of a Mary Kay party. Before long some woman dressed in pink was showing me how to “apply” that stuff to my face. She called it a “party”. Mom didn’t stop there. The next day I was taken to a shop that smelled worse than dad’s tractor. My hair was snipped and tossed into a flowing, feminine style. Then I was escorted to fashionable boutiques with names that I could not pronounce. I learned there that young ladies didn’t dress the way I did in public. I hauled boxes of dresses, dress pants, blouses, dress shirts, skirts and high heels to our station wagon. Even with all of mom’s help, I struggled to find a comfortable place in my new skin. Makeup made no sense to me. At the end of the day my mom found me curled up with a good book, wearing my worn out tee-shirt and blue jeans. This is where I was comfortable.
It’s funny that this memory came to me while I stood in front of a mirror applying a touchup. In my adult years I found my own style. I am comfortable now in dresses, some makeup, and pretty shoes; but my comfortable blue jeans are never far away. I thought about how my style matured over the years and it occurred to me that we mature in the same way after we are saved.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
Before salvation we are sinners and in need of a savior. Then one day we acknowledge Jesus as our personal savior and the Bible says we are saved. When we accept Jesus into our heart he washes the sin from our lives with his blood. He gives us new life. But like my early years, we don’t see the change. We are comfortable with our old ways and struggle to step into his new creation. But Jesus sees the change in us. His word tells us that we are a new creation.
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
Time is required before our minds grasp this sudden change. We are comfortable in our old shoes and our own ways. It was a long time before I grew comfortable with a woman’s curves. What did it mean to be attractive? How could people find enjoyment in how I look? I had to learn to see myself as a woman.
As Christians we must see ourselves as God’s new creation. Our strength comes from seeing his victory in us. Jesus has completed his miracle in us. Our vision is improved with his word. We look into the Bible like a mirror. All that is old is revealed and removed. All that is new brings us joy and peace. We grow confident in the reality that we are his redeemed creation, we are his transformed friend, and we are his beloved. We wear his garments and the seamstress is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is patient with us. He won’t break us and force us into his garments. His words mature us and his holy spirit teaches us. He makes gentle changes day by day, as we allow him. Just wait, you will begin looking back over the years and rejoice to see where God’s spirit has lead you and how you’ve changed. Rejoice when you see his handiwork. Every year I see a little more of the new garment he put on me. I’m so excited to see how it looks on me as I grow up.