We were just weeks into making Maui our home when I tried to convince myself that I could have the best of both worlds: every day, summertime living by day and sinking into the ideal sleep-weight of a down comforter by night.
Josh laughed at me when I came home with the fluffy purchase. “Just wait and see,” I said, determined to prove him wrong.
By 2 am, I was lying awake and sweating, frustrated that Josh was right. And that I’d have to get used to sleeping with just a light-weight blanket, the down comforter coziness suddenly the stuff of my dreams.
It shouldn’t surprise you that a brand new down comforter was one of the very first things I purchased in our move back to Oregon last fall.
It has been stowed on the floor at night all summer long, relegated to a mere decoration on the days that I actually made our bed in the morning. Until last night.
Last night, we slept with the windows wide open. It’s a newfound luxury now that Jonathan is in his own room. With the Central Oregon nights slowly getting colder, I can embrace it all without fear of freezing out our little babe. Sometime pre-dawn, I woke up cold and reached down to the floor. I pulled up that coveted down comforter, tucking both Josh and me in under the weight of the blanket I had missed using for the years that we lived on Maui.
Last week, while Josh was away for work, I left our two babes with my parents for the morning and ventured out into the city for a little retail therapy. I found the most delicious oversized cable-knit cardigan sweater that I couldn’t stop thinking about and returned to the store 36 hours later to buy it. This morning, as I got up with our wide-open-windows and the outside temperature below 50°, I put on my favorite sweat pants that are slowly but surely tightening against my ever-growing belly and sunk into my new favorite sweater.
I poured the coffee, tucked myself away upstairs in our bonus room, and opened my Bible to the book of Galatians. I was in the middle of chapter three and Paul’s take on the purpose of the law when I read the words:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There was a handwritten marginal note in red ink pointing me to 1 Samuel 18:4 that provided an Old Testament illustration to Paul’s new testament words. It was a story about Jonathan, the son of the first King of Israel, taking off his robe (and his armor and his sword and his bow and his belt). Jonathan removed every significant piece of clothing (both royally and militarily) that represented his position of power and promised inheritance. And he gave it all to David – a shepherd who God hand-picked to be the new king of Israel and, at the same time, to inherit everything Jonathan stood to receive.
You can do an entire study on what it means to be an heir with Christ (Romans 8:17 and Galatians 3:26-29 are both great places to start digging). But for me, this morning, I noticed the striking contrast between the kinds of things that David put on in 1 Samuel 18, and what Paul is telling us that we have the privilege of putting on in Galatians 3. For David? It started with a heavy, royal robe. And layered on top was all of the armor that comes with being a prince in a nation at war. The weight of it all most likely sunk him down or, threatened to sink him altogether.
But then Paul comes in talking about putting on Christ. (Yes, that same Christ Who says His yoke is easy and His burden is light in Matthew 11.) And the Greek word that Paul uses for the putting-on? It’s referring to the idea of:
sinking into a garment
I wrap my new-favorite sweater tighter around me and let the putting-on words sink in. “You have sunk into Me,” God says, “putting Me on when you stepped into your faith. And now, today, you have the choice to sink into Me afresh – to put Me on afresh and immersing yourself anew and sinking yourself into Me again.”
It’s quite the contrast, isn’t it? This idea of sinking yourself into Christ before the world and your flesh and all those distracting things sink you in.
“Night’s darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns,” the Passion Translation of Romans 11:12 reads. “So we must once and for all strip away what is done in the shadows of darkness, removing it like filthy clothes. And once and for all we clothe ourselves with the radiance of light as our weapon.
“Instead,” it goes on to read in verse 14, “fully immerse yourselves into the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, and don’t waste even a moment’s thought on your former identity to awaken its selfish desires.”
Amen, Paul. You hit the nail right on the head.