When you were a child, did you play with paper dolls? I remember breathlessly waiting for the newest edition of McCall’s magazine to arrive in the mailbox. It seemed like a month was an eternity. It was so exciting to flip through the pages and find the paper dolls. Do you remember them? The dolls were made of heavy stock paper and you cut them carefully out of the page. The dresses were the latest style, outlined with little black hash marks, ready to cut out. These were printed on thin magazine paper and you had to be careful to cut out not just the dress, but the all-important little tabs that folded over the paper doll and held the dress in place.
I remember having a box to keep all my dolls and dresses safe. I learned very quickly that they had to be treated very carefully because they are only made of paper and are very fragile. One careless move could crush the paper, irreversibly wrinkle or tear it. I had to be particularly aware of the little tabs that held the dresses on the doll. Folding them over and over again to dress the doll created a weak spot and they eventually broke. I remember trying to tape them but they couldn’t be repaired successfully. What a heartbreak, especially when the dress was a favorite. Oh how I loved my paper dolls. Every doll had a name and a personality. We had tea parties together. We acted out elaborate dramas together. They were my treasured rainy day companions.
There are times I’ve felt as fragile as a paper doll. There are times I’ve had to give up what I was clothed with because it was no longer the season. Sometimes we become complacently happy with how we are clothed. Something happens and God comes along, gently drawing us out of our comfortable place. He says look, that dress is torn and wrinkled, it’s out of style. Look with My eyes. I have come to cover you with My garment. I want you to discard the flimsy tabs that held that old dress and embrace a new, strong and smooth fabric. I have not only mended the rips in your garment, but I have created a new one specifically for you.
This is Kingdom living. This is an embraceable moment with Jesus, one you never forget. What unspeakable joy to look upon His face and see new beginnings, new goals, new faith and new worship. He always keeps us fresh. He is careful not to crush us, to wear us out. He makes all things new. He sweetly reminds us He is always with us; He carefully keeps us protected in a special place. He preserves us and renews us.
Because I know this, no matter what life throws my way, I can keep going. I know that I know that He will never leave me exposed. He is my fortress, my protector and my friend. What amazing peace and joy it is to know Jesus.