Rags to Riches
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
What is a good fairy tale without a life being transformed from rags to riches at the core of the story? It almost seems like humans have been hard-wired to desire a transformation that brings a person out of the drudgery of everyday ordinary life into something greater and more wonderful than their common circumstances seem to be leading them towards. A progression from poor to rich that is earned on the wings of hard work and determination is expected, but yet not that exciting as grounds for a moving story. But, instant deliverance from a lowly state to a princely one is completely another story. We root for the underdog, especially the one who has a heart of gold that is disguised by the dirty exterior of a rough lot in life. I do not think this human yearning is a sinful trait as some might and who do not want to waste time in things that seem pointless to dream in this world because God has woven a very similar story throughout the bible. Also, within the story God has written, He roots for each and every one of us to have a fairy tale ending and to find our princely birthright within the ultimate fairy tale of His crafting.
As I was reading this morning, my attention kept getting drawn to scriptures that had to do with this rags to riches premise. But, to start off I want to first point out the riches to rags story that needed to happen first in order for God to offer mankind a rags to riches opportunity. This other story is the completely opposite of a rags to riches story and rather is that of a riches to rags story which He gave His own Son.
Our ability to go from the rags of our sinful nature and from being a slave to sin was bought at the highest price God could pay – the complete devaluation of His Son. On our own we cannot even afford one simple thing that would even close to a penny in comparison to the infinite price God paid for our redemption from bondage. Our righteousness or seemingly good deeds on this earth, as translated from the Hebrew, are likened to the rags sat on by women during their monthly cycle.
This is the fairy tale story God gave each of us the yearning for when He breathed life into our beings – the redemptive transformation of our souls. It has to be this inbred yearning that has drove mankind to seek fairy tale endings since the beginning of time in direct contrast to the world we live in where these types of stories cannot even be realized because of sin and our propensity to live in our sinful and squalid conditions. We are creatures of habit and the habits of our sinful nature constantly draw us back to comfortable shacks in the ghettos of sin and our dirty rags covering which we try to spruce up with good deeds on our own terms.
Fear of what the fairy tale may bring us that is still unknown and outside our control unfortunately carries many away from the magnificent ending God wants all people to realize as their happy ending. The palace of the Lord is a far cry from what we can understand and from what we are comfortable calling home from the viewpoint of our sinful nature. We find the clothing of righteousness, sanctification, and redemption beautiful to gaze upon, but they do not feel like the old clothes we once wore and in order to wear them we have to change the way we move so as not to burst the beautiful stitching or to ruin the intricate beading work done on them by the most skillful dressmaker – Jesus Christ.
“...you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, 'He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.'” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31
The story has already been told, but the ending has yet to be accomplished. In this world we do not have the ability to see the full-scale end of the fairy tale, but yet we have been given the story so we can sample tastes of the glorious kingdom as adopted sons and daughters of the King. Living in this world with our adoption papers written up and our fairy tale ending within our grasp, we have the ability to let go of trying to earn our way to the top or even manufacture our own fairy tale ending within the ghettos and rags of this life. The work has already been done. Come to Jesus and accept what He has already bought for you with His life – your fairy tale ending. And then, make the most of the preparations He puts before you as you wait with expectant hope of the wonderful future that is guaranteed you in the kingdom of heaven.