Hand Me Downs
Our family was one of girls. My mum was one of two girls, and each of them had two daughters also. This meant lots of laughs and mischief when we all got together, but it also meant we could share clothes. I am the eldest, so the “good” dresses that were purchased for me at Christmas time, and for special occasions, inevitably found their way to my younger sister’s, and cousins’, closets. As we look at photos now, we often giggle as the same dress is seen in multiple Santa photos, but on a different girl. I had finished with the clothes. They no longer fitted and so had served their purpose. But my cousins still share with joy the feeling of a bag of clothes arriving for them. They didn’t care that the clothes weren’t new, they were new to them! Although I thought they no longer had value, they were of great value to them, especially because their older cousins had worn them first.
Don’t we sometimes feel this way about ourselves? We can struggle to see our purpose, or how God might use us. Perhaps we once did great things, but those days are gone, time has moved on and we can’t see what God has in store for us next. But the truth about my hand-me-down clothes is the truth for us too. God isn’t finished with any of us! And no matter how worn and torn we might be, he still has a plan and a purpose for us!
One of my favourite Bible heroes is Peter. Not because of the amazing things he did, although there were plenty. It’s because of the way he understood Jesus’ grace. Peter was passionate, a real go-getter. When there was work to be done he was there, when Jesus needed defending, he spoke up. Well, except when his life was in danger after Jesus was arrested. As he sat in the temple courts, being recognised by the crowd he denied Jesus three times. But this is not the end of the story. Peter is not left with his guilt and shame. After Jesus’ resurrection he talks to Peter, asking him three times if he loves Jesus. Peter is restored, and God uses him to build his church!
God’s not done with any of us, and no matter what has happened in our past, he wants to use each of us to demonstrate his love and grace and grow his kingdom. How amazing is that!
Prayer: Jesus, I thank you that you never give up on any of us. I also thank you that you use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Help me to remember who you are and what you have done in my life and to share that with those around me. Amen.