By Alison Feinauer
I was reading a book the other day, and the illustration in it really rocked me. A man bought an old boat and had it rehabbed. He paid tons of money to have it made it all shining and new looking. It was beautiful. He was so proud of his new (old) boat. He took it out on the water so all of his friends could see it and see him in it. He made sure that his first appearance with the boat was very visible.
During his first outing on the lake, it started to fill with water and began sinking, they hurried to get all the water out and get it to shore to see why it was filling with water.
The boat was all shiny and new on the outside, but it had dry rotted on the inside. There was a huge hole in it. No matter how great and new they made the boat look, it was rotted from the inside out. It was structurally broken. He was angry and ashamed when he realized there was a major problem. His image was at risk. His pride was damaged.
This really hit home for me because, more often than not, I’m worried about the way I look and my image: how I appear as a mom, a wife, or worker. I’m making sure that my house looks great, my kid behaves, or that my marriage is “seen” as blissful. I’m consumed with what it all looks like from the outside.
What I should really be concerned with is my inside. Am I rotting from the inside out? When the storms come or when people really get to know me, will they find dry rot? Or will they find a strong foundation?
Healing comes from the inside out. Taking care of the dry rot: the unforgiveness, the bitterness and resentment, the selfishness and greed, that so quickly create the holes in my foundation, should be where I’m putting my time and energy. There is Hope and true Restoration in Jesus.
You and I can do this by inviting the Lord in on a regular basis. Saying to him, “Put a finger on any part of my heart that You want to redeem and transform, and make new. I’m ready, Lord. Deal with me. Kindly and quickly, deal with me and heal me.”
My prayer now and frequently is something like this. You can pray it too.
Lord, you know the places in my heart that are stealing my joy and peace. You know that I want others to think highly of me, but I don’t want that if it’s not them knowing you are who has changed me. I repent of pride and ask you to be honored in my life. You know all the things that are eating me from the inside out. I want to turn those over to you. Please give me a new heart, one that reflects you. When I go through a difficult time, a tragedy, a disappointment or a loss, I want my first response to be to run to you for strength. I don’t want my first response to be to blame, or fear, or defend. I want to have my foundation fixed on your Love. I can’t do it on my own, but I know that you are in the repair business, and I’m turning it all over to you. Please help me, Lord Jesus, the way that only you can. Amen.
Friend, there is restoration for every part of your story. Don’t hide it, mask it, or make it “shiny,” bring it in the Light and He will restore!
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:19-21)!
Book Reference: Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship by Jack Frost