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The inward parts

Posted on April 18, 2020 at 8:05 AM

I don’t know how you’re spending your days in isolation, but much of my time seems to be filled with random musings as I sit in my quiet house, watching the families across the street toss around a football or smell the barbecue wafting from others’ back yards.


On the other hand, I’ve had an amazing time of “enforced” staycation. My house is immaculate, my office files are on the way to perfect alignment, even my oven is clean. Most importantly, I’ve had a re-igniting of my passion to worship with my church and a new longing to be with my family.


I can’t help but wonder what isolation with others feels like though. I’m sure, in spite of what it looks like from out my front window, there are challenges. The old saying can be true… “familiarity breeds contempt.”


That phrase was most recently made popular by writer, Mark Twain, when describing our tendency to begin to look down on those who are closest to us. It seems the more of their weaknesses we see, the more we de-value their strengths.


The very things that made us attracted to our mates – his quirky sense of humor, her crooked smile or tendency to laugh in the wrong places – can become irritating with the passage of time. What once seemed precious can become just one more annoyance in a life filled with them.


Seriously, I sometimes wear myself out, let alone trying to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of another (or many other) human beings. Is that just because I know myself so well? Perhaps that’s why, as time goes on, the little eccentricities of others begin to grate on us. We just know them too well.


It’s a good thing God doesn’t feel that way. Because not only did He create us from the top strand of our baby fine hair to our oddly shaped big toenail, but He knows everything about us -- including those things we've spent a lifetime hiding. Most especially, He knows the why’s of everything we do.


He has seen the outside forces that have shaped our attitudes, our beliefs about ourselves, and our resulting actions. He has an inside track on what motivates us, and what breaks us down. God has witnessed all our comings and goings (Psalm 121) both “now and forevermore.”


Several mornings ago I was looking in my 50x’s magnification make-up mirror trying to smooth out the wrinkles and spots. I contoured, highlighted, plucked and colored. Then I put on my glasses to see… yikes! All that work and I still looked like a pretty average 60-something-year old woman, with lines and scars earned legitimately through a lifetime of work, worry, laughter and tears. I could try and cover up what was showing on the outside, but I couldn’t change how life had marked me.


In Psalm 51, we see David’s very sweet and humble plea for God to forgive him for his sins. First he acknowledges his transgressions, pulling back the covers on all the secrets and the lies he has presented to the world. Then he acknowledges that he can’t cover up anything from God.


In verse 6 David says, “… You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” Later he pleas, “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”


We can cover up our most embarrassing flaws, keeping them hidden from the world – even our closest family and friends. But God has been there beginning to end, and there is no hiding from Him. He knows our ‘comings and our goings’ and loves us anyway. And if we’re willing to acknowledge and uncover – He will provide healing even in the most diseased and painful parts of us.


God wants transparency from the inside out. There is no isolating from Him because He remains with us throughout every moment. Not judging, but loving, nudging, encouraging, mourning and rejoicing through every nano-second of our lives. Even in the moments when we turn our back, He never moves away or gets fed up enough to let us go. He is infinitely patient, waiting for us to call on Him.


Isolation is a relative term, because no matter how far we distance ourselves, we’re never separated from God. But don’t let that scare you. As I say all the time, “you are not defined by your worst moment, because God’s not finished with you yet.”


Be blessed my friend. God is on the throne!

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