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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Story to Remind Us How Unique and Beautiful We Are...

This is a story written by a lady at my church...Michele LeDoux Abshire. She is a very encouraging woman with a heart of love. God Bless, Mrs. Michelle. Thanks for letting me use your story....

Recently at church my pastor pulled out a song from the archives. You know, one of those songs you haven’t sung in a very long time. The words go something like this: Glory, Glory, Glory, I’ve been touched and it must have been the hand of the Lord. My mind wandered from the song to an experience I had just the day before while shopping at Hancock Fabrics. It was a beautiful day after a long cold winter so the store was buzzing with activity. Not being familiar with the layout of the store I was wandering around looking for a particular item I needed. I strolled down an empty aisle where there were bolts upon bolts of different materials on a clearance table. I began to run my hand over each bolt and look at the beautiful fabrics; touching each one. They were all so beautiful, different and unique. There were many textures, ranging from coarse and heavy to soft and silky. Rainbow colors exploded through the bolts of fabrics. My eyes lifted and slowly slid over the entire store in amazement at the multitude of fabrics; each one with its own beauty and uniqueness gracing the bolts on which they were wrapped. At that moment I thought about how I loved so many of those fabrics and how I would love to make this or that from them. As these thoughts ran swiftly across my mind, alone in the aisle, tears sprang to my eyes as thoughts of how much God loves each of us in our uniqueness overwhelmed me. Alone in the aisle “I was touched and it must have been the hand of the Lord.”

Throughout that day and the next I thought about different aspects of what the Lord had shown me in the fabric store. The Lord lovingly comes into our lives and He touches us with His touch. Just like my hands lovingly passed over each fabric so His hand lovingly touches our lives. His is always a forgiving, merciful, loving, healing touch. A “so much more” touch. Just like my eyes were captured by the beauty of each fabric; in His eyes each of us is unique, beautiful and special. God has a purpose, calling and destiny for each of our lives. Just like I wanted to bring some of those fabrics home and make something unique and beautiful; His desire is to take each of us and make something unique and beautiful from our lives. His desire is to make us into the image of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” Romans 8:29a

The fabric does not fulfill its purpose when it stays on the bolt. It must have a skilled seamstress to shape it into its final form. It must be taken from the bolt, cut, pinned and stitched before it becomes the unique and beautiful final product. A good seamstress sees a fabric and a particular use for that fabric comes to mind instantly. They envision the end result even before they take the first cut from the bolt. They pour every bit of their skill and love into making the end product. That is our God. He knows us inside and out. He sees us and what we can be long before we believe that we can be everything that God has said we could be. God begins to cut off the rough edges to make the pattern. He removes those things that don’t belong with the finished product. He then begins to ‘pin’ the pieces of our lives back together bringing about a pattern for a specific use. God then ‘stitches’ those pieces together to bring strength and stability to our lives so that whatever He desires for our future will be strong and sure. We will be a ‘garment’ unto praise and glory and fit for a king.

That day at the fabric store I was at the clearance aisle. I have thought about some parallels of this particular circumstance. The fabrics on the clearance aisle were no less beautiful than the other fabrics throughout the store. The fabrics were not inferior fabrics yet they were marked down for sale. Sometimes life has a way of making us feel as if we are of less value than those around us. We feel like we are one of those items on a clearance table. We hope and pray that someone will come into our life to make it better. We feel as if we are lost in the darkness of life and that no one sees us, no one cares and no one ever touches us. This is such a lie! Just as I was looking at that clearance table and noticing the beautiful fabrics, my hand lovingly running over and touching each one, so God is the same. He is “El Roi” the God who sees. He sees each of us. He sees where we are. He sees where life has brought us. God is constantly reaching out in His love toward us.

I believe that God is like those people that go straight to the clearance table, but not just because of the bargain but because He knows that there is true value in each and every bolt of fabric that sits on that clearance table. His heart is for those who are brokenhearted and sick and often it is those on the clearance table of life that are most open to Him. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3 and “Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.’ >>> ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” Matthew 9:12b-13b

I can picture it in my mind. I can see God as He lovingly runs His hand over each fabric. I see Him as He digs to the very bottom of the piled high fabrics to view and touch each one. I can see the deep intent of His eyes as He looks at each fabric envisioning each one in its final form. God takes His time as He searches. There is not one unnoticed bolt of fabric on that table. There is not one bolt left untouched by His hand. He is rich; so, of course, in the end He buys the whole store and everything in it. He does not choose one over the other. Everything in the store is usable, everything is worth something and has a purpose. God then brings it all home; the fabrics, zippers, buttons, thread, patterns, etc. and begins to lovingly make each one into what it ought to be.

The greatest thing is that God bought each one of us with the greatest price imaginable. He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ to die for us and to be a propitiation for our sin. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” Romans 3:25 and “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 Salvation through Jesus is a free gift that we must accept. Every single one of us has a choice to accept or reject this free gift. In trust we can submit our lives into God’s hands and let Him make us into what we ought to be. We can be beautiful for His kingdom whether we have it ‘all together’ or whether we feel we are on the ‘clearance table’ of life. He loves us just the same. Jesus died for us regardless of where we come from or where we are now. His hand is lovingly extended to each and every one of us. Will we let God take the fabric of our lives and change us into His ideal purpose for our lives? Will we take His hand and jump up into His embrace of love? There is hope and we can all begin to sing, Glory, Glory, Glory, I’ve been touched and it must have been the hand of the Lord.

Love in Christ, Michele
Copyright February 2011, Michele LeDoux Abshire

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