I finally did it! I got all the boxes that were originally stacked to the ceiling in our guest room organized and everything that needed to go up to the attic put away! Yee Ha! The only thing left is a couple of pieces of furniture and about six boxes of books and clothes that need to be distributed between the study and master bedroom.
And speaking of clothes… I came across a box that had most of Piper’s summer shorts in it. This find was fairly difficult for me as it brought back lots of warm and enjoyable memories of fun summer activities through the years and how fantastic I always thought she looked in shorts! Now that she is not too active and chills easily, she hasn’t worn a pair of shorts since our return to California in 2009.
Piper has pretty much been the same size since high school and has always been very easy on her clothes. Therefore some of the shorts in the box date back to our pre-marriage days… and they still look like new! Amazing Huh? So, after I got through the pulling on my heart strings, I decided that we would keep the clothes and put them away in her dresser, for I believe that she will be wearing them again in future days!
Going through all the boxes was like entering a time machine through the memorabilia I came across including old pictures, birthday cards from the kids, clothes, notebooks, Piper’s favorite Bible and then our high school yearbooks. I couldn’t help but to tear up and have to pause to compose myself when I opened up the front page of Piper’s senior yearbook where she had drawn a heart with an arrow through it and written of her love for me. As I glanced at the signatures and notes from her friends, I also noticed many who had written in agreement to her statement of affection.
Then there was the picture of us in the ads section in the back of the book where we are in the sales room of a local tire center hearing the sales pitch on a certain type of tire. I am not too sure how we got involved in the yearbook production, but then we were pretty active in a variety of school events during that year! What especially caught my attention was the skirt-type shorts that Piper was wearing in the picture. Those shorts were in the box I had just found in our guest room some 45 years later and they still look hardly worn… and yes… she could probably fit into them today!
My Bible study this morning reminded me of that box of clothes. In teaching on Christian behavior, Colossians 3:9-10 tells us to: “Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of him that created him.” (KJV) I read that the putting off and putting on is likened to the changing of our clothes. Then I got to thinking about how when Jesus rose from the dead He left the grave clothes behind and likewise how He told the men after the raising of Lazarus, to “loose him and let him go.” (John 11:44 KJV)
It would seem that Jesus was declaring that the grave clothes represented the old life and now that we are born again with the new life in Christ, we must daily put on the clothes of this new life. My commentary stated that “we do this by practicing our (new) position in Christ, by reckoning ourselves to be dead to the old and alive to the new.”*
I’ve mentioned before how easy it would be for me to get lost in the past, especially as I go through all the boxes from our move. But I have to continually look into the future through the eyes of faith to see God’s promise that the best is yet to come for my wife and I. I have seen those who have given up on her… or maybe I should say, given up on God… and I don’t want, nor can I afford to be like them. In fact, Piper and I put on the garments of the new life by beginning and ending each and every day (over the last five years) by speaking aloud the Word of truth, life and light into us and the atmosphere of our home.
It is like that old song written by David Ingles that we used to sing at church all the time:
♫“Put on the garment of praise
For the spirit of heaviness,
Lift up your voice to God.
Praise with the Spirit,
And with understanding.
Oh, magnify the Lord!”♫
I can’t think of a better way to get dressed with the new life we have in Christ everyday by putting on the garment of praise through the heartfelt understanding and confession of the Word of God!
You know, Piper and I have never been “Pajama Day” people. We’ve always liked to get dressed and be ready for the day whether it is a vacation day or not. And it is just like that in our spiritual lives. We’ve always liked to read the Word first thing and be ready for whatever presents itself that day. Right now it is very important for us to get dressed each day with the Word of healing so that we are not only built up in God’s truths for us, but also ready to combat any negativity that may try to rear it's ugly head against us that day!
What do you think? What outfit or garment have you put on today? Is it one of positive praise for the new life inside you or one that says “maybe” to those who see you coming their way today? Have a greatly praise-full week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What garment am I expecting to put on today?”
*Be Complete, A Commentary of Colossians, Dr. Warren Wiersbe, Chapter 8