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Tindell Baldwin »

Return policy

“I saw the way you were exposing your body and I covered your nakedness with my cloak. I took your shame and cleaned your broken heart, I cleaned your cuts and dressed your wounds. I put you in a beautiful dress and adorned you with beautiful jewels. I placed a crown on your head and lifted you up to your rightful place as my queen. Your beauty caused the earth to talk of my splendor and I made you perfect. Your beauty became an outward adornment in a world full of gloom. All who looked at you could see the deep love of a father.”

Ezekiel 16:8-14 (paraphrased)

What if we really believed this, that God had taken our shame onto him and made us clean and righteous? For me that word seems far too dignified, I know what I’ve done and the people i’ve hurt, righteous is much too big for me. I did nothing to deserve my righteousness but God did everything so that I could have it.

My parents wanted to make my eighteenth birthday really special, I didn’t deserve it but they went out to Tiffany’s and picked out this beautiful ring, it had a heart made of peals and tiny diamonds on either side. They planned a big family dinner for me and fixed my favorite meal, I felt so special. I was truly loved, I knew because I had done nothing to deserve this kind of favor but they lavished it on me anyway. When everyone had left my parents called me into their room and handed me a tiny box, robins egg blue with a white ribbon tied perfectly on top. I opened it and there was the ring, a symbol of my parents undying affection for their only daughter. I put it on and smiled with joy. Tears welled up into my eyes and I attempted to thank them for this precious gift. I slipped it on my finger as I walked up the stairs to my room. I couldn’t stop looking at it. The next day as I left the house I took my ring off dug a hole in the front yard and buried it. I figured I would save my beautiful gift for when I deserved it. Do I sound crazy yet?

I wanted to create a word picture for what it would be like to hand God’s gift back to him. To actually reject it. I have noticed that every time he offers us the crown that we don’t deserve, we take it from him smile with joy then want to bury it in the dirt until we are deserving. The point is if we are waiting to deserve the gift God has given us we will never deserve it. If we are waiting until the gift is rightfully ours we will end up burying it in the dirt and never recovering it. God has given you a beautiful gift, not because you deserve it but because he loves you and he loves to lavish you with presents. That story is not real but it might as well be, my parents are amazing loving parents who give me far more than I deserve. I am far unworthy of their love but isn’t it so much better that way? Isn’t it better when you can look someone in the eye and truly say I don’t deserve it, that makes the gift all the more special. God is holding out a precious gift to you and if you are waiting to take it until you clean up your life or get all the rules right I promise the crown will grow dusty and his hands will grown tired. He never asks us to clean up our life to find him he just says we need to call out to him and he will be there.

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