Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”
Spring cleaning involves many things around this house. One of the stranger chores involves the cleaning of the hermit crab habitat. Youngest daughter is to be blamed for this rather interesting hobby. After she married and left home, the crabs stayed. Now I find myself fascinated by their rather bizarre little world.
While we have had a few rogue crabs, for the most part they are quite docile and very inquisitive. Everything is something to be climbed on, explored, or tasted. They get baths on a regular basis, playing in the sink making happy little chirping sounds.
To make them attractive to children (and thus their parents) they are painted with bright colors, cartoon characters, and glitter dust. This is highly toxic to the delicate crabs so one of the first things we do is offer them a more suitable home. It usually only takes about five minutes for them to start switching in and out of the new shells, testing each one until they find just the right replacement.
As I watched them throwing off the bright, colorful, ill fitting shells I was reminded of the words of Peter in the new testament when he told the women that “Your beauty should not come from the outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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 I read and thought about this passage, it occurred to me that all these years I have misunderstood the words of this great Apostle. Instead of saying that I can’t dress up, have my hair done, or wear stunning earrings, he was saying that I shouldn’t dress up to try to impress Him. He already knows I am beautiful. And, if I am dressing to impress the world, I have lost sight of the things that are of value in my life.
Once you feel good about yourself, once you realize that God looks at you and sees a vision of loveliness, no matter how much mud you have crawled through, once you forgive yourself (because He already has), you will radiate beauty no matter what you wear on the outside.
So today, I learned a life lesson from a hermit crab. Go figure. Only in my world can you crawl out of a shell and make a huge impression on someone. And no they don’t have names. Once youngest daughter left, they just became “the crabs”. They really do make excellent pets. They don’t need to be walked or cleaned up after, they don’t bark or tear up my garden, they don’t claw up the new couch. They just are.
Dearest Adonai, thank You so much for this beautiful spring weather. Thank You for the sunshine, the flowers, and the joy of knowing that the cold, grey of winter is soon behind us. I know that it is sometimes hard for us to remember that You see the beauty inside of us so please, Dear Father, give us clarity when we look in the mirror. Remind us daily that we are Your daughters and that we are made in Your image. Let Your Spirit shine through our outward adornment. In the name of Christ Jesus, our Beloved Brother, Amen