Today’s devotion comes from Sheena.
Read 1 Samuel 16:7

Lock down has levelled some playing fields.  The sporty of us will have been deprived of the gym and the less inclined will have found ourselves youtubing Joe Wicks and taking walks and cycles because there are fewer excuses not to be fitter.  By the time lock down ends we will all be exactly the same size.  Hair styles are also becoming dubious, and without an artistically lit zoom meeting I’m sure colleagues and friends will see the grey hairs and the wonky fringes.  I’m pretty sure the mullet will make a come back.

You might be feeling far from your best, but it doesn’t matter to God.  Having said that we should look after our bodies as best as we can – they are on loan and we need them to be healthy to continue his good works.

Psalm 139:14 ‘I praise you because am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well.’

Our bodies are beautiful, intricate little machines which are fragile and fading with everyday. It doesn’t take much to damage or poison them so we should treat them with respect.

But health is one thing and beauty is another…

God doesn’t pick the beautiful and the buff, and if He does, it doesn’t always work out well.  Saul was appointed king of the Isaelites because they wanted a warrior king to unite their tribes into one nation.  He was:

‘an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites – a head taller than the others.’ Samuel 9:2  

Externally he was what the Israelites thought they needed but he disobeyed God, was impulsive and in the end was fuelled by jealousy of David to the point of trying to hunt him down and kill him.

David on the other hand was the youngest of a band older bothers.  But Samuel listened to God when God ruled out David’s oldest sibling:

‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ 1 Samuel 16:7.  Then this young boy went on to slay Goliath and become  the greatest king of Israel.

So men, be healthy but not body conscious.

We women may be feeling particularly frumpy these days, buying clothes isn’t really ‘essential’ and anyway, it’s not like we’re going anywhere.  There’s nothing wrong with taking care in our appearance, but it shouldn’t dominate and it shouldn’t be the thing you hope will influence another’s opinion of you.

‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes.  Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty  of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’  1 Peter 3:3-4

As men and women of God we should put our energies into being the best and most ‘Christlike’ people we can be.  People should see our beauty in what we say and how we act and not what we look like.

Dear Lord, I may be not be feeling my best on the outside, but inside I am a child of God and I am beautifully and wonderfully made.  Please help me to look after this fragile little body.  I may notice lumps and bumps and grey hairs but they don’t matter to you.  Please help me to concentrate on what matters on the inside – integrety, kindness, honesty – and let people judge me on what I do and say and not what I look like.

In Jesus name 
Amen
Here’s some more crosses for people’s windows – Aimee has drawn one, and Donna tells me she’s dry marker penned her window, and God colours it in at sunrise and sunset.
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