Think of your favorite pair of jeans. You’ve probably owned too many pairs to count, but Is there one specific pair that pops into your mind instantly when you think “favorite”? You’ve probably owned them for a while. Maybe it’s a pair that are long gone and you’ve yet to find a replacement. You’ve had quite a relationship with them. You used to wear them out on date night, but then they became your go to when you just wanted to be comfy. You could do anything in them. You could grab a book and sink down into the couch for hours. Or you could just as easily play a game of football in the backyard. They just felt like a part of you.
How do you get that feeling of oneness with a pair of jeans? The key is they conform to you. A great pair of jeans supports where you want support. They bend where you need to bend. They are strong, but gentle. They’re durable, yet flexible. We’ve all had ill-fitting clothing and it drives us crazy. If there is pressure or discomfort when you move, the garment will eventually give out. It never gets better because it’s not as giving, and after a couple uses, the unforgiving garment ends up either in the trash or best case scenario on its way to a donation box. A tree can grow right through a car and remain healthy, but a car cannot drive through a tree and remain unscathed. HINT # 1: Your body is NOT going to conform to the jeans!
So Ol’ Blue can teach us a spiritual lesson. There is a reality that one who remains flexible outlasts the rigid hardened one. When it comes to our relationship with God, either you have to conform to Him, or He has to conform to you. HINT # 2: God is NOT going to conform to you. And if we persist in that unrealistic expectation, it will not only be uncomfortable, but something will eventually have to give.
On the flip side, if we become more like Ol’ Blue, pliable in the hands of our Maker, he begins to mold us. We take on His shape. His nature. His likeness. We work when He desires to us to work. We rest when He desires to rest. We learn to bend, run, and be still all at His pleasure rather than our own. And in all these things we find an irreplaceable comfort in that He cares for us and He will not put us through anything we cannot hold up under.
Romans 12:2, Paul tells us “..do not conform to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.” Simply put, we can either rigidly hold to the ways of the world, or we can soften, become pliable, and be transformed into the likeness of Christ.