Anyone who's raised kids, or is raising kids can relate to the image of a raggedy stuffed animal. You know the kind, one's that there's no point to wash anymore because the dirt is engrained in the fabric and that've been stitched up in more places then you can count. The stuffies that kids can't go to sleep at night without and have to be the one's to go on road trips and sleepovers. Those stuffed animals.... an embarrassment to parents, but an invaluable treasure for the child owner. In fact, the more wretched and disheveled the look and feel of the toy, the more love and use has been bestowed upon it.
Romans Chapter 8 is a considerably deep passage of writing, but upon reflection of the back half of the chapter (vs 18 onward) today, I'm reminded of the image and relationship described above. There are many days we may feel worn down and soiled by life. That to the world, our worth may be very little. But, the strong words of Paul in Romans 8 reminds us glorious life Christ has provided for us, both in eternity and here on Earth and out of his deep love for us... just as we are.
So, lift up your heads ragged teddy bears of the world.... there's a set of outstretched arms, not only waiting to embrace us, but is heartbroken over the thought of being separate from us.