Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Things Bright And Beautiful"1 (Lyrics)
Did your mother have a mending basket? It was there that things which needed mending were put until there was time to fix them. Some items required carefully working from inside the garment and concealing stitches or weaving threads or yarn to blend in to make the repair invisible and the garment usable again.
I recently heard about something called "visible mending", where the mending is done on the outside of the garment by using contrasting threads. The stitching repairs are done artistically and extend well beyond the actual tear to strengthen the whole area. Other contrasting fabrics can be appliqued as patches over the tear, as well. The effect is eye-catching and unique. However, no matter how much the frayed unravelling is covered up and embellished, and how much the repairs are emphasized, it is still an old garment subject to further wear and tear. It is just a temporary fix, like all mending. The fact remains that the original garment was damaged and weakened.
It is not unlike the various fixes that we try to apply to our lives by resolving to do better, overcoming weaknesses, covering up imperfections, etc. We find, sadly, that our feeble attempts, no matter how creative on the outside, or careful from the inside, eventually just toss us back into the mending basket, with the same old realization that we are in need of something better. Our Creator God has provided the way. The only One Who can provide this is Jesus Christ.
As Jesus' first declaration of His ministry, it is recorded that He chose to read from Isaiah:
Isaiah 61:1-3 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (NIV)
God sent His Son to redeem us and to reconcile us to Himself. Jesus' submission to His Father completed the work when He died on the cross in our place. When we mourn and repent from our brokenness and turn to Jesus, He mends our broken hearts perfectly.
Let us allow God to mend us with His power, forgiveness, mercy, and grace, to become persons displaying His splendour for all to see.
Let the words of this hymn by Albert W. T. Orsborn be our prayer:
- Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity.
May His Spirit divine all my being refine.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.