22 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:22-31)
I must confess… I am not a good shopper. I am a typical male when it comes to shopping. I have a list, go in the store and complete my mission. If it is on the list I get it and if it isn’t, I don’t. To me that is just plain simple… and frankly, I do not understand why everyone doesn’t do it that way.
Well, that is the prelude to this situation. Since our house burned, it has required a lot of shopping. We walked away from the fire with what we had on our bodies at the time and that was it. While Miss Nita was in the hospital, friends and family brought us some clothes to get us by until we could get the other things we needed. We were, and still are, very grateful for that. Since her release from the hospital we load up the wheel chair and off we go. We go in one store after another just shopping. I push her around and around the clothes racks while she touches and figures on each piece. She has to figure what it would look like and how it would feel. Me, I think, “Just get some blue jeans and a shirt and let it go.”
I can tell you for a fact that I am about shopped out. I have had my quota for the year and we have only just begun. I try to be patient and kind about it, but it is a challenge. But I must say, it is a challenge I will accept because it is necessary at the moment. Once she gets that gas foot working and is able to walk again, I will turn her loose to shop till she drops if she so chooses.
It amazes me to know how intently we look for things like clothes and furniture in this life and how little we shop for God. I asked myself the other day if I would look so intently for His ways and His direction in my life. Would I put myself out, even when I am so uncomfortable? Would I go to the lengths I go to for a pair of pants to find what fits me in God’s wardrobe? Would I try on His principles and His ways to see how they would adorn my life? Would I press on in the heat of the day to find one more item to make me look better? Would I be concerned with that which would keep my spirit warm, protecting me from the elements of evil which is ever around me? Would I look for that which would make His creation reflect the same kind of intensity that He saw when He made me?
In the Bible, the Word of God, we have a catalog of principles and activities from which to shop. Every page reveals something that God offers to His people. If we watch and inspect as closely as we do when shopping in a store, there will be a multitude of things that fit. What’s more, God’s principles reshape us so that they will fit. You can’t get that in a clothing store. How would we like it if we could find something that would make us look and be better, and it made you fit it instead of it fitting you?
We have a responsibility to probe and find what God has for us. When Jesus Christ took on flesh, He demonstrated God. “…He has made Him known.” If we watch with intensity and take careful note, the image of God will appear. He will show Himself to us so that we can be like Him. He will reveal Himself through the pictures He paints of Himself so vividly throughout the Scriptures. If we look past the words we will see Him. And then and there we will find a storehouse of things to wear.
Well, maybe I will shop again.