When we were little, there was a favorite song that we would always ask our mom to sing, “Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton. I’m sure she got tired of us asking her to sing for us but she never complained. A little girl, in a coat of many colors sewn from rags, teased at school because everyone else saw rags, they failed to see that the rags had been transformed into something beautiful and priceless.
What we wear is important, it’s usually one of the first things someone will notice about us. Our clothes are categorized based on their purpose. We have home clothes, work clothes, yard work clothes, church clothes, party clothes, etc. It’s important to make the distinction because it could be very embarrassing if we showed up to a very nice party in our home clothes. We tend to dress based on our environment and also based on our status and preferences.
A few months ago I came across some verses that kept highlighting clothing and I felt like God was saying there is a message in all this. The message was clear, “It’s time to change your clothes.”
Let’s start with the story of the prodigal son. He came from a family of wealth, he probably had some really nice clothes that indicated his status and wealth. When he left his father’s house, his clothes went along with him and indicated to others that he was well off. His lifestyle was extravagant and careless, one that would soon leave him penniless. He squandered his wealth, his clothing, and ended up wearing the rags of a pig feeding servant.
Life can do that to us too, it strips us of our identity and all that we have and we end up wearing the rags of our struggles, pain, frustration, and regrets. We feel so far from home.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him”, a son wearing rags, stained, torn, and probably reeking of pigs, despair, servitude, and worthlessness.
What happened next was not what the son expected, he already had his speech prepared. He had enough time to perfect on the long way home. Yet, the father saw a son, beneath the filth and shame, he saw his son.
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Luke 15: 22
In the presence of his father, he was transformed. The rags no longer a part of who he was, he had regained his identity, he was no longer a disgraced pig feeder, he was a son.
In Esther, we read about Mordecai where it says when he left the king’s presence he was wearing royal garments, a gold crown, and a purple robe. Esther 8:15
We are transformed when we enter into the presence of the king, our King.
What about us? What have you been wearing lately? Has the struggles, pain, and loss stripped your royal robe and replaced it with rags? Have you gained some holes in your clothes from the onslaught of trials? Is the stain of shame showing on your hem? Or maybe some of us are still wearing the old clothes from our past, unsure of our identity.
Friend, these old garments can’t go any further with you. You have been invited to come into the presence of the King. It’s time to change your clothes. Take off your old clothes, your status has been changed. Just like the son who was seen while he was still a long way off, so the Father sees you. It doesn’t matter how far off you’ve gone or what you’ve done. In the presence of the Father, in the presence of the King, you are no longer a drifter, no longer an outcast, no longer disgraced, you are now a daughter. You are chosen.
The Father is waiting to give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:3
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
Today is the day to get a new wardrobe. Time to change our clothes. Our rags have been transformed into something beautiful and priceless.
Change your way of thinking
Hold on to God’s promises
Accept your position
Now is the time
Grace is available
Enter into the house