I love slipping into my robe every morning.
And enjoying the space between sleeping and getting ready for the day.
The spacious place where decisions are totally mine.
Drink hot tea?
The choice is mine.
Start laundry or wait til evening?
The choice is mine.
Have a bowl of cereal or a banana…
The choice is mine.
Wearing my robe, I move through the early morning hours fully aware of the blessing of living in freedom.
So when I read of Tamar,
dressed in widow’s clothes,
waiting for yet the second brother of her deceased husband to come to her
to produce offspring to carry on his name,
then realizing she has been forgotten,
and taking matters into her own hand –
Tricking her father-in-law in order to keep the family name alive.
It’s difficult to relate.
When I read of Joseph,
treated well by Potiphar time and time again
but then framed by his very wife
as she held his robe and screamed for help,
rejected and angry,
willing to see him punished for a crime he refused to commit.
I don’t feel a connection.
I read on.
The chief cupbearer and chief baker join Joseph behind bars.
They dream dreams.
And Joseph offers to interpret them.
The cupbearer’s dream has promise.
“In three days you will be restored.”
Hearing the good news,
the baker asks for his to be interpreted too.
The news is anything but great.
“In three days you will hang on a tree.”
The Bible jumps to the third day,
and sure enough.
Both dreams come true.
But the baker, in all his joy, forgets the one request of Joseph.
“Please show kindness to me by mentioning me to Pharoah, and get me out of this prison.”
And with this disappointing news, today’s Bible reading ends.
Just like that.
A waiting widow.
A deceptive wife.
A blessed cupbearer.
A doomed baker.
And a forgotten Joseph.
What is God saying to me this morning?
His Word is alive.
Sharper than a two-edged sword.
Why am I not feeling the prick of the blade?
I lean back,
take a sip of my hot drink.
And ask God what I’m missing.
Am I trying too hard to hear Him?
Make something out of nothing.
Have a reason to write.
I never want it to become like this.
That’s when my eye catches another book on my desk,
a book by Sarah Young.
What does she have to say this morning?
Better yet, “What does Jesus have to say through her?”
I turn to January 17th.
And begin to read.
“I brought you into a spacious place. I rescued you because I delighted in you. You are in a spacious place – saved from being a slave to sin…..Since your best efforts could never be enough be sufficient to save you, I clothed you in my own perfect righteousness. Wear this clothing of salvation gratefully – with overflowing joy.”
Here I sit.
Wrapped in my earthly robe,
while being reminded of the only robe the matters.
The robe of righteousness.
Tamar wore widow’s clothes but took them off long enough to become one of the only women listed in the lineage of Jesus.
Joseph was dressed in clothes that set him apart as Pharoah’s right-hand man.
But Pharoah’s wife took them off long enough for Joseph to land in prison………
and discover his gift for interpreting dreams.
A gift that will eventually elevate him to the highest place in Egypt.
Maybe that’s it that simple this morning.
“Think about your robe, Tammy.
Don’t ever put it on again without thinking about Me.
I’ve clothed you in so much more than fabric.
And your freedom comes from so much more than what you will eat or drink.
I lean back again.
And this time I notice my robe touching the back of my chair,
and I wonder how many times in my 53 years of life I’ve leaned back in a chair.
Not even noticed the feeling of what I’m wearing making contact with the back of the seat.
I don’t want to ever miss it again.
The feeling of God’s love wrapped around me.
Touching everything I touch.
There’s nowhere I can go that He’s not there,
because I am clothed in Him.
And even Joseph, stripped of his robe and thrown prison,
seemingly forgotten by the baker,
still wore more than he ever imagined……
and one day he would realize just how protected he had been all along.
Wrapped tightly in a robe no man (or woman) could rip from him.
You’re wrapped tightly too.
No matter how cold it is outside this morning,
Feel the warmth of His presence.
Delight in it.
You are arrayed in righteousness.
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.