All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6
Not so many years ago, my daughter had for herself a sweet little orange-striped kitty. Had she been a boy, it would have been a real-life version of Calvin & Hobbes. Classic adventures and discoveries every inch of her existence and countless moments of conversation and questions with answers. It was beyond all else the most unique bond in our home. Without “Two-Sides” (that was kitty’s name), going to sleep was impossible as was going to grandma’s or heading out on vacation. Two-Sides went with us everywhere.
But as the days checked off the calendar and the whiskers on Two-Sides disappeared, the love my daughter had for her was still ever strong. It was not a love of youthfulness or beauty, for Two-Sides had grown quite ragged. Instead, the love my daughter loved Two-Sides with was a love that made Two-Sides beautiful.
It is not very different with me (and you)! To God we are all rag dolls. But we were not created ragged, for when God finished what He had fashioned in His own image He said with His own breath, “It is good!” He loves me (and you) and that does not change over time!
But over time, we have all become like rag dolls, so crooked from sin and guilt that it would only feel similarly familiar to be discarded, forgotten, left to my own demise. But no! God changed everything because of His love for me! Thank God my identity is not found in my raggedness, but instead in Christ who took my raggedness to the cross!
John Ortberg wrote in his book Love Beyond Reason:
“There is such a love, a love that creates value in what is loved. There is a love that turns rag dolls into priceless treasures. There is a love that fastens itself onto ragged little creatures, for reasons that no one could ever quite figure out, and makes them precious and valued beyond calculation. This is a love beyond reason. This is the love of God. This is the love with which God loves you and me.”
by: Mark Cruver