Read: 2 Corinthians 5
Reflect: Several months ago, our two-year-old became aware of his birthmark. He had never really noticed it before, it was just part of who he was. We had to take him to a dermatologist to have it looked at for a baseline appointment. He had been born with a very large and dark mark that covers his elbow. It was a routine visit, but it was also the first he ever noticed the mark. After the visit he would randomly look at his elbow and say “Oh no! Go to doctor?” I was finding myself reassuring him that nothing was wrong with him. This mark was part of who he was.
A week ago, we were at the library. I watched him walk up to another two-year-old and say “Hi! This is my birthmark!” as he shoved his elbow in the other child’s face. My son was no longer alarmed by it. Instead, he found it important enough to lead in his introduction of himself. It is a part of who he is.
For many of us, Christianity has been a part of who we are for a very long time. I became a believer at the age of five and being a follower of Christ has just become a part of me – much like a birthmark that I have had for thirty plus years.
My relationship with belief has ebbed and flowed, like my son’s relationship with his birthmark. There have been times where I have barely noticed it. Periods where, yes, Christ was still a part of me but it was covered and hidden and rarely mentioned. There have been times where my Christianity has been in need of a doctor – a great Healer (for lack of better analogy). Those are the times where my faith has faltered and been lukewarm at best. Then there have been these beautiful moments where I want to walk up to everyone I know and say, “Hi! This is my birthmark. This is who I am in Christ and this is what He has done to save me.”
I am so thankful that this human body and this human life are not our forever. That our failings and shortcomings and sin will not be our eternity. Paul reminds us that our earthly tents – these temporary bodies that we have are just that, temporary. So, we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. (v. 6-7). There are times when my walk by faith has been more of a stumble than a walk. Times when I did not acknowledge my birthmark. Times when I needed to go back to the great Healer. We need to constantly remind ourselves that, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (v. 17). This birthmark of Christ is one our temporary bodies should wear unashamedly because we are a new creation in Him; we are sealed with His love.
Apply: Where are you with Christ right now? Which version of my son and his relationship with his birthmark are you living? Are you going about life, seemingly unaware of Christ’s presence in your life? Have you forgotten who you are in Him? Or are you walking up to everyone you know and telling them to “Look at my birthmark!”; to look at who you are in Christ, because of Christ.