Christian, life

Coming As We Are

Sitting at the hairdresser’s this week, I thought how the hair salon is probably the only public place where people go in looking their worst, and come out looking their best.

We walk in with our ragged ends, bushy bangs, and limp curls, and we come out looking trim, fresh, and beautiful. Looking and feeling like a better version of ourselves.

Time with God is like that. We go to Him with our worries and shortcomings, and we come out holy and renewed. While we don’t walk out instantly perfected – after all, who leaves the hair salon with forever-perfect hair? – we will always leave a time of heartfelt God-seeking looking more like the people He made us to be.

The Master of Beauty

My hairdresser knows her craft well. She knows how to make even a simple trim look stylish, and can manipulate my bulky tresses into the most beautiful of braids.

God knows His craft well, too – and He is able to make change happen to the most beautiful results. He who made the stars and breathed the oceans into being delights in the miracle of renewing and healing us day by day. He loves nothing more than to bind up broken hearts, lift crushed spirits, and cleanse and free those who need a fresh start (Isaiah 61:1-4).

When we bring Him our cares, He takes our attitudes and circumstances and shapes us into something closer to the image of His Son. We begin to see the image of God in us, shining through our human brokenness like treasure hidden in clay jars (2 Corinthians 4:7).

He has power to work in us throoough His Spirit (Ephesians 3:20). When we confess our sins, He has power to forgive us (1 John 1:9). When we confess our worries, He gives us peace (Philippians 4:6-7). He has power to change situations and move mountains. But whether He changes outward circumstances in our time or not, He always meets our greatest need – an unbroken relationship with Him – and moves the mountains within us.

“See, I am making all things new,” the Lord announces in Revelation 21:5 (NRSV). He is a master of renewal.

Bringing All Our Baggage

When we go to a hairdresser for a trim, we tell them what we want or need to change. Then we sit back and let the scissors fly!

It’s a rare person who says, “Trim the ragged ends on the right side but not the left.” Unless maybe we’re growing something out or have some other specific reason, we expect our hairdresser to address any and all hair problems we have at the moment.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” 1 Peter 5:7 says. “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,” Paul writes in Philippians 4:6.

But sometimes we hold things back. That bill that needs paying, that quiz that needs passing, that relationship that needs mending, even that niggling feeling of sadness or lostness…Does God really care or need to know about all that? And that bad habit that needs breaking – wouldn’t He rather we get our mess together before coming to Him?

Actually, God wants to be the first Person we come to with a problem. Just as a loving parent wants to hear about whatever bothers their child, He is always ready to listen and able to comfort and help us. Not only can He be trusted – but He takes pleasure in taking away our sins and worry and replacing them with His all-surpassing peace. He who loved us enough to send His Son to die for our sins loves us enough to provide for our needs and treat every care as His own. And He never grows tired (Psalm 121:3-4).

So bring Him all your baggage.

A Place to Come…Again

Getting our hair trimmed or styled is not a one-time appointment. Most of us need a fresh cut every couple months.

In the same way, confession and petition are not a one-time thing. We need regular, frequent, focused “God time” to stay spiritually healthy and close to the Lord and His will for us.

Christ paid for our sins and provided a way for us to have an unbroken relationship with God through His death and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3-8). When we first confess our sins, accept this Good News, and trust Him as Savior and Lord of our lives, we receive His gift of forgiveness and restored relationship (Romans 10:9-10). But as in any relationship, the time we spend with Him is what keeps the bond healthy and growing.

And we don’t have to wait for a particular time or place to seek God – we can meet Him where we are. And if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit lives in you (1 Cor. 6:19). You have access to His power and guidance wherever you go.

That means that bringing our cares and sins to the Lord and being changed by His guidance, forgiveness, and cleansing are an ongoing process. As new challenges, temptations, and burdens confront us, we can take them immediately to God.

God’s healing presence is a place to abide (John 15:4-5). Paul urges us to “pray without ceasing” and to “walk…according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

 

Time spent with God through Bible study and prayer, opening our hearts and trusting His change, is what transforms us into the image of Christ.  It is there His Spirit changes us “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18).

We come to the Master with all our baggage, and we walk away peace-filled, power-filled, and praising.

There is no more beautiful a sight.

 

How can you make time with God a priority in your daily routine?

 

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