Would you take a moment and consider this: A person, any person, wearing a crown--whether it be an 18 year old newly crowned Miss America, a 70 year old queen of a country, a newly crowned 30 year old king of small nation, a 6 year old celebrating her birthday, or a 100 year old queen of the nursing home who has outlived all of her peers and celebrating a century of life--

 What is the demeanor?

 What is the posture?

 What is the expression on the face?

 When considering this, I could not think of one instance where there was a sad demeanor, dejected posture, or a hang-dog expression on one's face. All I could recall in my mind's eye was a cheerful, gracious demeanor, posture that spoke of self worth and a beautiful expression of life on a contented face. I'm sure there are exceptions but I don't remember any.

I trade these ashes in for beauty,
                                             And wear forgiveness like a crown,
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy,
I lay every burden down.

Sunday in church as we sang the song above, the second line hit me hard.

How often have I sinned, asked forgiveness, God forgave me and yet I have moped around dejected because I had failed once again?

From Clarke commentary on the Bible we read:

As far as the east is from the west - As the east and the west can never meet in one point, but be for ever at the same distance from each other, so our sins and their decreed punishment are removed to an eternal distance by his mercy.

Have you let a grievous sin from years ago (that has been forgiven) continue to dominate your thinking and your actions?  I would encourage you today to accept the freedom that only comes from God.  Satan is a dream thief but God is a dream maker.

When we delight in Him, our wildest dreams will be rooted in what He wants for us.  He wants us to realize those dreams, to walk in fullness and wholeness, holding our head high in humbleness, wearing His forgiveness like a crown that we will one day lay at His feet. 

Please join with me today in kissing those feet of mercy and laying every burden down.

© all photographs, art and text property of Dianne Hogue unless otherwise noted