Yesterday I listened to the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. I’ve heard the story before but it’s been a long time. I was reminded that it is a beautiful story of love. It starts out telling about a little stuffed rabbit, given to a boy as a Christmas gift. The little rabbit was stunning to look at and the boy was excited about this new toy.
The rabbit was new and pristine, yet naive in thinking. For a while he sat in the toy closet anticipating the day when he might be played with like other toys. While he was there a worn and wise horse told him about becoming real. He described the process as long and hard, yet worth it. To become new he would have to be loved to the point where he was almost in shambles, but the horse assured him he wouldn’t mind the process at all, in fact the love he would feel would far outward the discomfort and pain.
Finally the Velveteen Rabbit gets his chance. The boy and the rabbit are inseparable. He is the boy’s playmate and companion day and night. He is loved so thoroughly that his coat becomes stained and shabby and his button eyes become loose.
In the end, he gets his heart’s desire and becomes a real bunny. It is a better type of real than he could have ever imagined or hoped for. It was worth every loving toss, tear, dirt filled adventure, and rough and tumble moment with the boy.
This process of reforming and journey toward realness could be compared to the journey of a Christian from salvation to maturity and then revelation as we leave this temporary home and join the Lord. When we accept Christ and begin to walk in a path of faith with the Lord we are much like the new rabbit. We have naive thoughts and an abundance of questions. We will stay in this newness unless we seek the Lord with intention, wanting His love and reforming.
Once we begin to walk toward Him and we desire this journey forward becoming His new creation, we become an inseparable pair. As He loves us and journeys with us, we discover pain along the way. We say yes to His will more and our will less, even when it is uncomfortable.
Why would we do this? We do it because we have felt His love and we want what He has for us. We come to believe that He has our best interests at heart as He grows us to be more Christ-like. When the Lord tells us to pick up our cross daily, He is warning us that the path won’t be one of comfort or ease. It will be hard and there will be bumps along the way, but it is His promise of love that keeps us walking toward Him. It’s the fact that anything done with Him is better than a life of luxury separate from His provision and guidance.
In the end when we leave this temporary place, we will realize our realness. We will see that the journey was worth it and the account we will give the Lord will show our humble response to His love. Every ache and pain that served to prepare us for eternity will be worth the cost when we finally arrive and become “real”.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.”
1 Peter 4:12-13
“The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord , endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”