Last night I was talking to my Mom who art in Heaven and was simultaneously wiping tears away with my sweatshirt sleeve. Today I grabbed that same sweatshirt to go for a run. It got wet with rain and I finally tore it off and used it to wipe sweat from my face as I finished with my best 5K time ever.
I was thinking about the link between tears, sweat, and rain and how they are all linked to the ‘clothing’ we put on as Christians. Galatians 3:27 reads: “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” As I get older and have more experiences, I see just how true that statement really is. We “put on Christ”. He covers our imperfect selves so that when God the Father sees us, He sees His perfect Son, because we belong to Him. But unfortunately that doesn’t necessarily make life here on Earth easier. We experience terrible things like the loss of a loved one, worries over our children, job uncertainty, and much more every day. We cry, feel paralyzing fear, mourn, and experience frustration…these are the human condition. But God is very near. We are ‘clothed’ in Him and He hears us, even absorbs our tears, gives us hope, sends us on a new path.
Being clothed in Christ also does not mean a life free from toil. The early disciples even instructed, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” (2Thessalonians3:10) Sounds pretty harsh, but I think of it like this: This life is the shortest part of our existence. We are promised peace and joy for eternity when things are wrapped up, but here, today, is where the work gets put in. Try hard, do your best, help people, work in the ‘vineyard of the Lord’ with your love and good deeds because time is short. God gives us the energy for the task at hand and thankfully, He gives us time to rest, too. He understands more than anyone else how hard life can be at times. As much as I’ve sweated in the last few months, I can’t imagine anything like this:
“And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44
Toward the end of my run, I found myself so grateful for the rain that kept falling, kept me cool, and kept me going. This, of course, reminded me of baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Deuteronomy 32:2
Yes, I will admit to being a tender plant. Even though my life contains many blessings for which I am grateful, I am bruised and hurt more times than I care to admit. Thankfully, God is constantly reminding me of His Love, keeping me renewed and keeping me going. Just as the presence of the rain helped me finish my ‘race’ strong, God Himself will keep me going through my most important race until the very end, and that’s a really good thing.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
So, my sweatshirt is pretty full today…of tears, sweat, and rain. My heart is also full as I consider the crazy things God will use to reach His dear daughter.
Wishing you all blessings today….