Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Get Real, Stay Grounded"

Ezekiel 27.10-11 NCV

“Men of Persia, Lydia, and Put were warriors in your navy and hung their shields and helmets on your sides. They made you look beautiful. Men of Arvad and Cilicia guarded your city walls all around. Men of Gammad were in your watchtowers and hung their shields around your walls. They made your beauty perfect.

A few years ago I visited a female friend in the hospital after she had surgery. I was not prepared for what I saw. She was recovering well, sat upright in a chair, and was genuinely happy to see me. Knowing her the way I do, it was no surprise to find my friend communicative and cheery. What surprised me was her appearance without makeup. I’d never seen her that way. She looked different and truthfully, plain.

I had a beautiful wife. But she looked even more beautiful with a little makeup. I loved and cherished her just the same either way, but makeup made a visual difference. Properly applied, makeup hides blemishes, covers wrinkles, and accentuates positive features. Many women are meticulous about their appearance and will not start their day without giving careful attention to their faces. I’ve actually witnessed women applying make-up using the rear view mirror while driving in morning traffic!

Ezekiel described the land of Tyre before its demise as having “men of Persia, Lydia, and Put” at its disposal. Tyrian soldiers “hung their shields and helmets” on this once mighty nation. The walls of Tyre’s castles were decorated with the “shields” of powerful and famous warriors. Like exquisite makeup on a gorgeous woman, these fighters made Tyre “look beautiful”.

“…your army, your men of war… they perfected your beauty”.
Ezek 27:10-11 NAS

I am somewhat self-conscious, and therefore conscientious, about my appearance. I do not wear makeup but I hunt for anything that makes me “look beautiful” to others. I decorate the walls of my soul with “shields and helmets” of past success, which I recall often and display readily. Today’s reading in Ezekiel prompts me to get real and stay grounded. Stripped of the makeup of past accomplishments, I probably appear very plain. Yet, that’s how God made me. That’s how He sees me and that’s how He loves me... naked, plain, unaccomplished, and destined to become the dirt from which I came.

“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Genesis 3.19 NAS

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