I have a sweater in my closet that if my mother could get her hands on it, she would rip it to shreds. I love this sweater, though. It’s my favorite, and I’ve had it for 27 years. Admittedly, it has a few rips and tears in it at this point, but I don’t wear it in public very often. But the fact that I wear it at all causes my mother untold aggravation.
She sees all the flaws. I see the sweater that she bought me when she took me to New York City for my 18th birthday.
She sees the holes. I see the almost three decades of comfort and dependability this sweater has provided.
She sees the sweater as ugly. I see the sweater as beautiful in its own unique way.
I take a lot of heat over this sweater, and have even started posting pictures of it on Facebook just to irritate my mom; my friends have risen to the challenge, and whenever a photo comes up, they join in the fun.
Just as some look at my sweater with disdain and point out all its flaws, we sometimes see people the same way. We see their rips, tears, and damage and think they are beyond saving. We assume there is no hope for them, and we give up. We don’t want to invest our time in what we consider to be a lost cause. Maybe we even think these things about ourselves.
Thankfully, we have Jesus who looks beyond the damage, hurt, bad choices, and past to see our hearts. To see how He can redeem us. How He can patch up the damaged holes of our past and make us new again. Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
It’s a promise that gives us hope. God can do new things, even bring forth a river in the desert (Isaiah 43:19)! He can bring beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3)! He can make all things beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11)! He can make all things good (Romans 8:28)! He can look into the heart of a dying, repentant thief and offer forgiveness (Luke 23:39-43).
If Jesus can do all that, how can we ever write someone off as hopeless? How can we ever think we ourselves are beyond His mercies?
When you feel torn, broken, stained, beyond repair…. Look to Jesus. He can do anything. Even take the hardest heart and write faith on it. Never stop hoping, believing, and praying. No one is beyond His ability to restore and redeem.