When I was young, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. “I want to be a band director and a preacher.” There isn’t any logical connection, but for me, it made perfect sense. When I was born, my dad was a band director. He was gifted and loved by his students. When I was four, God called my father to ministry. A year later, we moved to Kentucky so he could attend seminary. He was a gifted leader and our family was embraced and loved by the churches he pastored.

The journey from my five-year-old dream to who I am today has taken many twists and turns. More times than I can count, I’ve found myself far from where I expected to be. As I look back, I can clearly see God’s unrelenting grace at work, helping me take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me.

Several years ago, I decided to return to school to pursue biblical and theological studies. The process was considerably more difficult than I had anticipated – academically and spiritually. As the deadline to complete the degree approached, I realized I would not be able to complete the degree. I felt very far from my hopes and far from God. In a profound expression of grace, God carried me through. When my doctoral hood and cap arrived, I wanted one thing – to wear them with my late father’s doctoral robe. His robe doesn’t exactly fit me. He was taller than me and the size was a little off, but that was ok with me.

Throughout scripture, robes symbolize our relationships and calling (Joseph in Gn. 41:42, Isa. 61:1–11). Paul encourages us to “put on Christ” (Ro. 13:14). The ways Jesus is made known through our lives, work, and calling isn’t something we produce by our own effort. It is a gift from our Father who relentlessly pursues us and robes us in Christ. In Christ, we reclaim God’s dream [for us] as daughters and sons. We bear God’s image, demonstrate His faithfulness, and reveal Christ in the world.

Dr. David Bales
Classic Worship Pastor

Subscribe to the Daily Fill