It’s Saturday. David is taking his first SAT this morning. I got up early with the dogs and to pray for my baby boy. If you read this before noon today, then pray for his time during this test, that it would all go well, that God would cause his brain to function to a capacity that allows him to experience the hope of a job well done. My hands are shaking I’m so nervous for him. SAT’s are just way too stressful these days. There’s just too much pressure on our children to get into college. I’m resting in the fact that God is sovereign and He has a plan for David’s future schooling. He knows what He is up to! I need not worry.
Now that’s not the main reason I am posting today. Take a look back at the title.
Last Saturday, Rob and I went for a free date to the Columbus Museum to see a specific exhibit, “The Right Chemistry.” My sister, Louann, would love it. She was a textile engineer at Auburn. She would understand all the stuff I heard while at the museum eating up the beauty of these outfits preserved for so long. I could have cared less about the chemistry of the dye process.
But then at the end when we were looking at the green dyed pieces, my ears perked up. The docent on her first day of ….docenting said that a main ingredient in the first successful (long-lasting) green fiber dyes was a form of arsenic and that people over periods of time wearing these clothes dyed green were being poisoned and dying, no pun intended. The dye would flake and emit a gas. They would breathe in that gas and it would seep into their pores. After a while, they would die. The same dye used in wallpapers of the day caused the same problems. This particular dye was also used in green candy back then. I found that sad, yet oddly fascinating.
On the way home my mind just kept thinking about that fact and Rob and I talked about how the outfits were the death of them, that they wore killer outfits, or so-and-so had an outfit to die for. I know, we can be shallow.
Eventually we arrived back home and I went to find Scriptures that talk about our clothing. You know how we women are. Right now you may be thinking of the Proverbs 31 woman or the passage in the New Testament that talks about a woman’s dress and adornment.
I looked up “clothe” on my Bible software (Logos…can’t say enough good stuff about that program). The Psalms talk about God being clothed with majesty, glory, strength, salvation and honor. David prays that those who elevate themselves above God would be clothed in humiliation, shame and dishonor.
The Proverbs 31 woman is clothed in scarlet. She makes clothing of fine linen and purple. Most meaningful to me is the description of her in verse 25 that “strength and dignity are her clothing”. “She smiles at the future.”
Galatians 3:27 says that, “those who have been baptized into Christ are clothed in Christ.”
1 Timothy 2:9 encourages women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly. 1 Peter 5:5 encourages us as believers to clothe ourselves in humility toward one another. Revelation talks much about being clothed in white linen (the saints are clothed that way) and there’s so much more throughout all of Scripture that refers to clothing and being clothed.
Psalm 45, go grab your Bible and read it, is beautiful in its description of the King’s bride. It says in 45:13, “The king’s daughter is all glorious within. Her clothing is interwoven with gold.”
She is glorious within. That reminds me of God telling Samuel how He looks within man at his heart and not at his outward appearance as He was working with Samuel to choose the next king of Israel, David.
Go back with me to thinking about how some of the dyes used way back when were poisonous. The outer things that appeared to be beautiful and glorified one’s status were really cloaks of death to the insides of the people wearing them. Outer things influenced the inside.
What are the outer things that are influencing your inner man? Are you trying to please others and just can’t measure up and it’s eating away at you? Or, are you pleasing God knowing that He searches your heart and knows your intent whether those on the outside looking in can see that?
Are you clothed in bitterness from unforgiveness that is slowly poisoning you? Or, have you put on forgiveness because you know that brings life?
Is the pull of the world’s influence dragging the hem of your life and you are dragging and plodding and can’t understand why? Maybe it’s time to shed the unnecessary garments that may look beautiful but are not part of what Christ is calling you to do for Him. Shed the facade of happiness and its trappings for freedom in Christ instead.
Let us ask ourselves today what we’re going to “put on”. Let us be attentive to what God is telling us to wear. He’s very clear in His Word. Let us wear some garments of praise while we’re at it!
By the way, if you want to see this exhibit at the museum, tomorrow is the last day. However, in the post title at the top, you can click on it and have a personal tour on your computer. Turn up the sound so you can hear.