Philippians 2:5-7 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)
Today I looked through my closet for something decent to wear for a casual lunch date with a friend. Could I find something nice? Maybe there's an outfit just a little fresher than my usual stay-at-home, mother-of-pre-schooler, working "uniform" of sweat shirts, leggings, and house slippers.
Comfortable jeans and a nice sweater sounded fine… Yes! Here's a great sweater. Okay, now the jeans….
As I paged through my stack of blue jeans, I remembered how happy I was ten months ago when I found three new pairs that fit well. I'm not one to buy many clothes for myself, so a purchase like that was particularly satisfying. Three pairs should last quite a while, right?
As I began pulling on the dark blue pair, my smile faded. Looking in a full-length mirror, two perfectly round circles of very faded blue denim stared back at me from the knees of those favourite pants.
Returning to the stack, I saw that each pair, light, medium and dark, had the same flaw. That day I chose to wear a denim skirt instead.
But the more I thought about the discouragement at my inability to keep three pairs of jeans presentable for more than one year, the more I saw those faded patches as something very presentable to God.
Those worn-out knees were the telltale sign that I had spent countless hours playing horsey ("Again, Mommy!"). They were proof that my knees had made contact with all kinds of floors (of varying degrees of cleanliness) to be down on my son's level. That's where I had to be to hug him, to correct him, to tie his shoe (again…), or to zip up that tiny zipper.
So many things of God have become clearer since having children. He must love to teach us lessons in the everyday things of life, right where we are.
Two things became clearer that morning. First, I realized that I cannot do my job effectively if I am not on my knees. It's a job requirement, both for wiping noses and for prayer. Second, I felt incredibly loved, remembering that my heavenly Father, the creator of every good thing, is willing to come down to my level (in varying degrees of cleanliness) to show he loves me, to correct me, to forgive me (again…), and to show me the way.
As much as I would love to have more presentable blue jeans, I can see this season of faded knees is passing quickly — my oldest has nearly outgrown the need for me to even bend over to look her in the eye. But I know I will never outgrow the need to be on my knees in prayer, a child of God, reaching up to take the hand of her heavenly Father.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for coming down to us in Christ, and loving us right where we are and where we need you. Help us to willingly and lovingly bow our knees and serve you humbly and gladly. In Jesus' name. Amen.