Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pretty Is as Pretty Does

"Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. "  Psalms 45:11
Looking back, times were tough when I was a young girl. My sister and I never realized that because our parents would do without what they needed to give us the best they could. One thing we had plenty of was love. Our parents adored us. Even so they were fallen people because we live in a fallen world. We pass our dysfunctions from one generation to the next.
One particular day, starting out the door to school in my blue and white checked glasses, my ducktail haircut and my thick black and white oxfords, my mother said: "Pretty is as pretty does."  Somehow, for some reason, I hung on to that.  One thing I wanted was to please my parents.  It became a life ambition to gain their approval and keep it.  So I unwittingly decided to be a pretty girl and to show that I was by always doing the right thing.  I would perform to earn love and approval from those I cared for.
Someone said to me, "You are an unbelieving believer. You believe, but God help your unbelief.  You have not moved into the inheritance of God the Father as a child of the King.  You do not know the love of God."  I have to agree.  For years I focused on my relationship with Jesus.  I knew nothing about my relationship with God the Father.  Only this past year have I begun to experience my Father's love for me.  
I am 60+ years old.  I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face.  I have strived to be some kind of beauty queen and gain the approval of people all my life.  Why am I crying? Because I finally see I may never be any better.  The striving is over.  And you know what?  I see my Father fighting for me.  He is not passively sitting by, nor is He yelling and screaming. He sends the greatest, mightiest warrior-His very own Son-to come and get me.  To bring me to Him.  To protect me.  To love me.  To have personal relationship with me as I have never known.  And you know what?  It feels good.  To cry.  To rest.  To be loved by my Heavenly Father in such a way no human being on earth could ever love me.
Pretty is as pretty does?  My Savior thinks I am beautiful and He is the lover of my soul.  He fought for me, died for me, and won.  He has brought me to the arms of my Father to share in the love of the Family of God.  I boast in my weakness so you may see the power of God on display in me.
This Christmas we will be giving lots of presents, perhaps. But with God our Father we are to learn to receive.  It is a very humbling thing to receive a gift graciously.  To know there is nothing we can do to earn it.  Nothing we can do to lose it.  It is the gift of the Father's love through giving to us His only Son: Jesus.  We have so very much to celebrate.  Not just the birth of Jesus but the ultimate gift of God the Father--His love.