I am almost ashamed of all of the things I have accumulated over my lifetime. As I look around my office, filling the shelves are lots of books that I love. Also, pictures hang on the walls, sports figures and toys have stepped out of my old toy box onto the shelves to constantly remind me of my childhood. I believe I could make it if they were destroyed (as I just wrote that I am not quite sure that I am ready to test that theory). However, I have a two-year old son who has a possession that he treasures. He cannot survive without it (I take that back. I imagine that he could survive, but he would make survival difficult for everyone else in our family).
His possession is dingy. It is dirty. It often smells. It is pink. It’s his blankie, but it doesn’t look like it belongs to him.
I can’t exactly remember when he first became attached to it. When he was born, we had been given several smaller security blankets (one with taggies all over it and another that had a sock monkey head). He never really took to them. Then one day, it seemed that he had to have the pink blanket. This wasn’t a hassle at all. I mean it was bigger than he was, so it was almost impossible for him to take it anywhere when he was crawling around. It had one small tag on one side that is almost always impossible to find. No big deal.
When he finally learned to walked, he started to drag that blanket around everywhere – across the yard, across the floor, across the carport. It got dirtier and dirtier. Sometimes it gets so bad that we have to strategically plan times for the blankie to get a wash.
In all of his two years of existence, it is still his most prized possession. He has to have it – in the car, in his backpack at school, during his naptime, as he goes “night night” it is there. It is stained, cumbersome, and impractical, but it is his. And don’t you even act like you are going to take it from him. He will only cling tighter and give you a look that could quite possibly kill you.
It is pink with hearts because it belonged to his older sister at one point in time. Of all the blankets in all the house, he chose that one. His sister hardly used it, so he chose it. He redeemed it from the pile of under used blankets. He gave it purpose.
Many times over the last several years, my kids have been great illustrations to me about the love of Christ. As I watched my son carry around that blanket and treasure that blanket, I began to realize that I was like that blanket in the hand of God. God chose me. He redeemed me. He gave me purpose. Though I am dirty, dingy, and broken, God has called me his treasured possession.
Those who believe in Christ and follow him are like that blanket. You are God’s possession as we read in 1 Peter 2:9. God loves you. God treasures. God has redeemed you and given you purpose. You are his. He will never let you go.
Sometimes I forget who I am. I am sure you do too. I don’t forget my name or anything like that. But, I do forget my identity in Christ. There are many voices in my head and in the world that try to compete for my attention. They try to identify me and tell me who I am and who I am not. I am quick to succumb to every one of these voices instead of the voice of God. I need to hear his voice – His word. This is why it is important for Christians to read the scripture. Not just to check it off of a to do list. Read the scripture because it speaks the truth. It tells you who God is, who Christ is, and who you are.
Some days I feel like an old dirty blanket. That’s okay, because I also know that I am God’s dirty blanket.
I preached a sermon on our identity as followers of Christ. You can listen to it here if you like.