Soft Clothing?



“But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!
(Matthew 11:8 NASB)



The people were questioning Jesus about John the Baptist. They had the wrong impression of the one who was to announce the way before the Messiah. Somehow they had developed their own thoughts on what he ought to be like and were disturbed by the one who had been sent to them. Had they expected someone looking like a king? Well, they had certainly looked in the wrong place for John was not in soft clothing like those in the palaces who did not have to work, but rather he was dressed to live in the wilderness and was preparing the way for Christ.



How often do have expectations of how God is supposed to become involved in the affairs of our lives? We have a rather worldly perspective and vision of what his work in the world is supposed to look like. Often that is what might be viewed as "an acceptable" way in which he should work, or engage us in his work. We want his work to be dressed in soft clothing, when often he needs to come in the rough and tumble of the day. We are not necessarily comfortable with the rough and tumble and the soft clothing is so much more attractive to us. Doesn't God get it? Why wouldn't he do things in ways which are more pleasant for all of us? Maybe that's the whole point -- that the things that God does are about kingdom work, and are therefore centered on him, and not on us. We can't expect everything in life to be wrapped in soft clothing. There will be times when things will seem as crazy as the wild man, John the Baptists who was dressed in coarse clothing and ate wild food! But the Spirit of God was with John the Baptist, and we are promised that the Spirit of God will be with us as well. All we are required to do is to trust him, day in and day out. We must stop looking and wishing for the soft clothing, and trust God in the coarseness of life.



Lord, thank you for the coarse moments which help to define us into the people you desire us to be. Amen.


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