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My granddaughter has a blanket which goes everywhere with her. Like Linus, she trails this blanket with her wherever she goes, draping it around her shoulders, hiding under it, wrapping it around her as she sits to play. She even feeds the blanket on occasion as if it were a living creature, and on one occasion, ‘made’ the blanket draw a picture for her!
This blanket has become a symbol for me of God’s love and sufficiency. When I see her agitation at leavingt the blanket behind (it’s too big to take out really!), I glimpse my own sense of panic on those days when God’s presence seems distant to me. When I see the comfort she finds in the blanket, I glimpse how I feel when God’s word comes to me afresh in comfort and reassurance. When I see her contented as she trails it everywhere in my house, I glimpse what it’s like to be ‘hidden with Christ in God’ (Col 3:3), contented in Him.
Most of my life has been spent battling a crippling (if invisible) sense of inadequacy and inferiority. The words ‘enough’ and ‘sufficiency’ somehow managed to escape my experience. I understand the meanings; I just don’t seem to experience them. ‘Good enough’ actually has an OFSTED-like definition to me (i.e. inadequate); ‘sufficient’ usually implied deficit to me. I once remarked that the epitaph on my tombstone if chosen by myself would read ‘not good enough’, for this is how I define myself.
That is not how God defines me (or anyone else), however. He sees in us infinite worth and value and loves us regardless of our looks, achievements, failures and mistakes. He tells us that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, covered by His sacrificial death for us so that when God looks at us, He sees not our sins and imperfections and failings, but a spotless, righteous Lamb.
Christ is essentially our ‘blanket’. He provides comfort, reassurance, safety and strength. When we are ‘in Christ’ (a phrase used repeatedly in the New Testament), it’s as if all of God’s adequacy and sufficiency cover us.
I’m guessing one day Esther will leave her blanket behind; she will outgrow the need for its physical presence. But these days of the visible reminder are powerful to me, for they remind me of wht it means when it says our lives are hidden with Christ in God, and I am reassured as much as she is by the knowledge of God’s comfort, adquacy and sufficiciency in my everyday living.