This past summer when my mother and I sorted through my Dad’s closets, we packed up and gave his things away, mostly to the Good Will or Salvation Army store. It was Dad’s own request that we not keep his things after he had gone to heaven. “Let them be a help to someone else,” he had said. We found it a joy to do so.
As we went through his clothes I looked at his ties. Being a pastor he had many ties and they were so beautiful. My Dad loved wearing his ties. I carefully packed most to take to the Good Will but several I packed away in my own suitcase. I had a few in mind to whom I wanted to give the ties. Five were laid aside for my next trip to Kyrgyzstan. I had in mind, five of my father’s students from Bishkek Bible College days. He loved his students so much and I know they loved him too.
This past Sunday I gave one to the pastor of the church I attended here in Bishkek. The service had not yet started. I saw the pastor come to greet me and I gave him my Dad’s tie. I could tell he was touched and happy to receive it. The music started then and we parted as the service began. It was a wonderful time of worship and praise together. Then I saw the pastor walk to the front towards the pulpit. As he turned around, my breath caught in my throat. He was wearing my father’s tie. I felt a huge and lovely joy explode in my heart. Tears also sprang into my eyes but they were tears of happiness to see this former student of my father, showing happiness also in wearing his former teacher’s tie.
Throughout the rest of day I kept recalling the incident and then I thought of the articles of clothing that our heavenly Father gives us to wear. In Ephesians 6 we are given some wonderful and exciting instructions that are key to living successfully. It all has to do with our spiritual clothes! The Apostle Paul tells us in verse 10 to, “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” Well, we all want that, don’t we. We want to be strong with His own power so that we can stand against the troubles of this world and stand triumphant against the attacks of the ruler of this world – Satan.
You might be thinking – and it all has to do with our clothes? As Christians, Father has given us special clothing that will equip us to stand against anything, yes anything at all. Let’s read Ephesians 6:13-17: “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body of armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmut, and take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.”
I am personally happiest when I am spiritually dressed for the day. There is a certain confidence in wearing what my Father has given me. There is a joy in being dressed in something of His.
I kept a denim jacket that my Dad used to wear. He looked especially good when he wore it with his cowboy boots and jeans. My sister has a denim jacket of his too. When I put it on, I am immediately reminded of my Dad. So many joyful memories come to my mind.
It’s the same when I dress in what my heavenly Father has given me. I put on the spiritual armor and I am immediately reminded of my heavenly Father. So many joyful memories come to mind as I recall the times over the years that He has given me His strength and peace and courage.
Today and everyday, may each one of us remember to dress properly before we walk out the door. Then, whatever happens today, we are prepared. We are already successful; we have already won whatever battle awaits.