From the Inside Out

from-the-inside-out-650x269About three o’clock this past Sunday morning, we had stormy weather. The wind was blowing quite hard, and the rain was extremely heavy. I was lying on my sofa waiting for the storm to pass, when I heard a terrible crash.   Quickly I made my way to the bay window in my breakfast area.  In an effort to see what had crashed, I opened the blind to look out the window. The window was foggy so I could see nothing. I rubbed the window with my hand, but could still see nothing.   I decided to wait until daybreak to see what had happened.  As daylight pushed away darkness on Sunday morning, I looked out the window and saw that our large grill had been blown off the deck and into the yard.

That was not the only discovery I made that morning!   I knew the windows needed cleaning, but I had put it off.  The idea of going outside in the Alabama heat to clean windows did not appeal to me.  Then as cooler temps came, I was really not interested in cleaning windows while being cold.  What I discovered Sunday morning was that the fog I had tried to rub off the windows was actually dirt. The windows were dirty on the inside, not the outside.  My vision had not been clear, and it had nothing to do with what was going on outside, but what was going on inside.

Too often we are overly concerned about putting energy on the outside, when it’s the inside that needs the change.  As one writer said, “If you sit down with an angry, controlling man who is having marital problems and train him in communication skills, what will you have?  You will have an angry controlling man who is much better skilled at manipulation.  And most likely he will still have marital difficulties.  Without heart change we will just use what we have to serve the idols of our hearts.”

Situations will come and go.  It is a part of life.  We will become very tired and often fruitless if we are trying to work it all out while looking through a dirty window – thinking that all we need to do is change something on the outside.  What is needed is to sit with God, and ask Him to change our hearts, to change us from the inside out.

I can’t guarantee that all the situations of life will change and be exactly as you desire.  The situations of  life may remain unchanged, but by allowing God to develop the inside, you will have changed in the situation.  Only then can you actually see a situation accurately, and deal with it appropriately according to God’s plan.

Today I took the time to clean that bay window from the inside, and it’s amazing how much more clearly I can see what is going on outside!

“But this is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” – Jeremiah 31:33

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