As the weather warms, and soft spring winds blow through blooming flowers and trees, I am reminded of a true story, lived in those days before clothes dryers, when women hung the wet wash out on a line. When dry, those sheets carry a heavenly scent, never developed by modern technology! If you have ever smelled it, you know exactly what I mean. But away from the scent, and onto my story.
It was in the year 1943. We lived in a brick tenement in the City of St. Louis. It was on one of those beautiful days that my mother was hanging her wash while we kids played out in the small backyard. Our neighbor’s little boy, Georgie, climbed the fence to play with us. We were busy chasing the butterflies that had appeared as if by magic, and soon got tired of that game as we had no net with which to catch them. Georgie wandered over to my mother and tried to get her attention. Mother asked, “Georgie, do you like chasing butterflies?”
“Oh, yeth, Misthus, I weally wike it!” “Well, Georgie, would you like to have a new suit?” Mother asked in her just kidding voice.
“”Oh, Yeth, that would be great!” Georgia beamed his happy, happy face!
“Well, next time you catch a butterfly, just eat it, and you’ll get a suit just that color!”
With the clothes now hung out, mother picked up the basket and said goodbye to Georgie who was by now sprinting for his fence, eager to get home.
About a week or so later, Mother was at the laundry task again. She noticed Georgie hanging out next door and spoke to him. “Hi, Georgie!”
“Hi, Misthus Pierce.” Georgie sounded kind of down, and he didn’t move to climb the fence. “So, how you doin’, Georgie?”
“Well, not so good. I still haven’t got my new suit.” Mother looked straight at the little, chubby boy with sad eyes and paused for a long minute as to what he might be talking about,” New suit? What new suit?”
“Well, I ate a beautiful butterfly, just like you said, but I still haven’t got a new suit!” Then she knew!
There is no disappointment quite like the disappointment that a child may have in such circumstances. No unkindness was meant by mother when she told him the butterfly tale! She was kidding and supposed he understood her tease. But it was a FACT to Georgie, and he may never have understood why the suit of many colors never came. Sadly, many Christians have been told similar tales, promises made by men or women as to what Faith can do if they believe, or pay some price, or give some gift. Television preachers have devised many schemes to separate the money from the naive believer’s pocket. And this is a very great tragedy: much greater than Georgie’s disappointment.
So what is the price of Grace for you personally! Nothing! Grace cannot be bought or sold. Grace is the free gift of God. But it was not free to God! The price was so great, for Jesus Christ gave his very blood that you might be saved! The Crown that He wore was a crown of thorns! He wore it for you! The lashes that He took upon His back were for you! The nails that pierced His hands and feet in the Crucifixion were for you! And though dead and buried, rising the third day, and achieving victory over death, He did that for you! Grace is from God for you, and it is His Gift of Eternal Life for you.
The problem remains: how can I receive this Grace from God? The problem is a sin nature that you were born with. You can’t overcome your sins on your own accord. The Law of God is a mirror that shows you your sin. (See Romans 3: 9-18.)
But if you acknowledge your sins, and ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you, if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who paid for your sin debt, then you may receive forgiveness from sin and be “born anew into the Kingdom of God! You will be a new creation, and one day you will actually be given a “new suit”, for the Bible says we are clothed with His Righteousness now, and when we stand before the Lord God, we will be clothed in robes of pure white! (See Romans 3: 21-26.)