I learned an important lesson this afternoon. I wasn't studying the Bible, or reading an important spiritual book. No, it wasn't anything like that, nothing that you would
think of as educational. And my mind was not geared at that moment for any kind of lesson; what I was doing was trying to remove those acrylic fingernails, the ones that
I paid $25 bucks for a couple of months ago.
As I tried to gently peel off the acrylic nail, it naturally peeled off layers of my natural fingernails as well, leaving my fingers sore and in shambles.
It will be months before they grow out and completely repair the damage that has been done to them. That's when I suddenly had a flash of insight--- these nails are a picture
of what our lives are like when we depend on false trimmings to make ourselves beautiful--- false trimmings that seem to enhance our lives, but can actually damage them
when we depend on them, instead of on our Creator.
We try to make our lives beautiful with so many false trappings. We equate wealth, social staus, prestige, careers, and accomplishments (often both our own, and those of our children) as the things that make life beautiful. There is no inherent bad in any of these things, in facts, these thing DO enhance our lives, making them more beautiful and appealing, just like my acrylic nails enhance my hands. But we cannot fool ourselves that these things have any lasting value; all of these things can be lost, ruined, taken away, or become obsolete. They can peel away layers of our lives, leaving us sore and in shambles, and it may take years and years to repair the damage.
When God looks at our lives, He doesn't admire how beautiful we are, or how talented, or that we have the inside lane on the fast track to wealth and success. He knows those things are all false, just like my fingernails. He knows we tend to put our faith and trust in these things, instead of in Him. It grieves Him, I'm sure, to look at His creation and realize we all too often forget Him completely in our quest for the things we think we need to make our lives more beautiful and appealing.
God offers us so much more, and what He offers can't be taken away or destroyed. The gifts He offers really DO enhance and make our lives more beautiful and appealing. He offers grace, which is a completely undeserved gift--- one we could never earn, one we weren't expecting, one we could never get for ourselves. He offers mercy, which is not getting what we really deserve, something else that we could never earn, never get for ourselves. He offers justice, a surety that everything IS going to come out right in the end. He offers love, a complete and unconditional love; a love so great we can only grasp a small inkling of it with our human understanding; a love so great that He sent His son to die to reconcile us in our sinfulness to Himself in all His righteousness and holiness.
We can't buy these gifts. They are far more precious than anything we can ever buy and pay for. They truly WILL enhance our lives and make us more beautiful, and, unlike my false fingernails and all these false trappings we surround ourselves with, these gifts will never leave us damaged and sore; in fact, these gifts are the secret to rebuilding lives that have been torn apart, layer by layer. Won't you come to God today, and receive the free gifts He has in store for you, to start healing all the damage in your life, and making your life truly beautiful?