Her story isn’t pretty. Her mother died in childbirth. Her father did his best to care for her and married within a year so that she would have a mother figure to nurture her and care for her. But as sometimes happens in these blended families, after three further daughters were added to the family, the stepmother became jealous of her husband’s doting on his eldest child. During his frequent work trips away from home, the abuse began. At first, there was verbal criticism of her looks, her intelligence, her obedience. The three stepsisters soon joined in with their own forms of biting rejection. Following her father’s tragic death when she was just thirteen, the situation worsened. She was cruelly accused of being somehow responsible for her father’s death and was soon totally ostracized, relegated to the position of maid to her stepmother and her stepsisters. Her growing beauty throughout adolescence starkly contrasted with that of her siblings, further intensifying the jealousy. She received none of her inheritance while her stepsisters took full advantage of the money that was rightfully hers. In the years that followed, she was denied the shopping trips for new clothes and was made to wear castoffs from her younger sisters. Birthday parties were given only for the others and it was her job to stay out of sight while guests were present, but was ordered to clean up when everyone had gone home. Life was dismal with little prospect of hope in the future…

Of course, this is my rendition of the story of Cinderella. I elaborate on it because I see it as a retelling of our own stories. We were all ‘enslaved’ by the law of sin and death. We were nobodies (‘not a people’ as one translation puts it). We were completely unaware that anyone with any clout to change our lot was even aware of our existence (much less someone who cared to intervene). We were kept ‘in the dark’ and assailed with accusations of our unworthiness. We were ‘without hope and without God.’ Any thoughts of getting out from under the tyranny of this terrible, all-encompassing bondage seemed futile, the stuff of dreams.

But I get it. There is no glass slipper in our stories, no pumpkin-cum-coach, no mice-cum-horsemen. But there surely is a Prince. There surely is a desperate search for our hearts. There surely is a turning upside down of our situations. There surely is a passionate love received, a brand-new life initiated, a forever future secured (and a marriage!!). There surely is a beyond-imagination, eternal inheritance now ours. And there is surely a staggering power living within us to replace our powerlessness!

“I pray that [the Father] would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life. Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences – the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding – this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable desire, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.”* (I wish I’d written that prayer first, but it is, nonetheless, mine for y’all today!)  PD

*Ephesians 3:16-20, TPT

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