One thing that is so comforting to me is the promise of a new life, in Jesus. I get so easily caught up in my flaws that I have to remind myself, almost constantly that it doesn’t matter. Truly! The fact that I’m a little softer in my middle after my kids is not a deal breaker with God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says this – “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: he old has passed away, and the new has come!” This goes for other flaws as well: being late, forgetful or short tempered. Guilt, jealousy and grudges will all go away with the love Jesus has for us.
There is a beautiful example of this in the classic children’s story, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It brings back a nostalgia of childhood and it is such a sweet story of unconditional love between a boy and his beloved toy. Also, it is a beautiful comparison to God’s love and how it transforms each of us.
If you are not familiar with the story, it begins at Christmastime with a toy, stuffed rabbit in a little boy’s stocking. The rabbit soon becomes the child’s favorite toy in the nursery, bringing much joy and comfort. The rabbit tries to understand what “real” is and is informed by the rocking horse that “real” only happens when a toy is loved, so much. “‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. ‘Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?’ ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’ ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ … ‘but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
The story continues with the rabbit being loved so much by he boy that his fur rubs off and his color fades but the rabbit doesn’t notice. The child then becomes ill with scarlet fever and all the toys in the nursery must be destroyed. The Rabbit is thrown out in the yard to be burned but before the gardener comes the nursery fairy appears! She tells the Rabbit “‘You were real to the Boy…because he loved you. Now you shall be Real to everyone.'” The Rabbit is so excited! He can hop around and play with the other bunnies and he has beautiful soft fur and real whiskers! He lives the rest of his days in the garden outside the nursery, near to the little boy who’s love made him Real.
I just love how the innocent, pure love love of a child changes the Rabbit into Real. That’s why this story has always been one of my favorites. In the Bible Jesus promises that His love for us will do the same, one day. When we give our lives to Christ Jesus and we receive His love, we may be shabby and worn out by the time we get to Heaven but we are promised new bodies without hurt and suffering. Real is not having fancy things and nice clothes and the newest technology but rather it comes from a love so strong that literally changes us, inside and out! In 1 Peter 1:3-4, Peter writes to the churches “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading kept in heaven for you.”
No more cancer, no more heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, depression, debt, homelessness, hunger- EVERYTHING will be new and perfect with Jesus.