Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inside Out

While listening to music today, I heard the lyrics from Phillips, Craig, and Dean’s “From the Inside Out”. As the words asked God to consume me from the inside out, the meaning of the lyrics struck my heart deeply. I do want Him to consume me, but thinking about Him doing so from the inside out, just amazed me.

Quickly the image of our usual phrase “inside out” came to my mind and I thought about how embarrassing it is to put on a piece of clothing inside out and wearing it thay way by mistake. We’ve all done it at least once if we're honest. I recall a day a few years ago when one of my coworkers, and I won’t name which one (I value my earthly life!) came to work fuming at the rest of us for not telling her that she had worn her uniform pants inside out the entire previous day. Truth was, none of us noticed, but once she was home, she noticed and she was mortified! Rest assured, had we noticed, we would have had a great deal of pleasure at her expense. She loves to laugh and always makes the rest of us laugh.

When speaking of issues of the heart though, how embarrassed, ashamed, and humbled I would be if I had to go through one day with myself turned inside out. There are things inside me that no one knows and if I were turned inside out, those things would no longer be hidden. The entire world could see my hurts, pains, fears. There is jealousy, pride, criticism. What if they saw all of the thoughts within my mind? I would not be proud of what would be on display. I’m sure the seams would be jagged, and the tag would be sticking straight out revealing my faults and weaknesses written on its surface. What I am made of would be listed there just like the 100% cotton is listed on the tag of the T shirt I’m currently lounging in.

What about you, if you were turned inside out, what would be revealed? What can we change about what people would see? What would your tag say? What is your fabric made of?

Speaking of the writing on the tag, what else is listed on a tag besides the size? Go ahead, check your tag and see, I know you want to! At the end of the list of the type of fabrics the garment is made of, it says some form of:

“See Reverse For Care”.

And always on the other side of that tag are the instructions for caring for the garment, cleaning the garment. Often it even says, gentle cycle only.

That’s the hope, that although we might be turned inside out with all of our faults, failures, and weaknesses in plain sight, He includes instructions on caring for us. Instructions for cleaning us. Instructions for ironing out our wrinkles. Sometimes the instructions say, wash inside out. He had our care planned out from the beginning:

“… Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27

God, wash me from the inside out. Cleanse me from within Lord. I cringe to think of what people would see if my heart was turned inside out. I pray that amongst all of the bad things others would see, that they would also see much love woven in and around my heart. They would see threads of You making up fabric of my being. I call upon You, God, to give me more love so that your love within me would crowd out my shortcomings, leaving only room for You. Jesus, thank you, for pouring out your blood to cleanse me, wash me. Iron out my wrinkles day by day so that I might be that radiant bride without stain or wrinkle, or any other blemish. Holy and blameless. I know God that You would not call me to this if it were not possible and I trust you to launder me one day at a time.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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