Recently, I nearly went for my Prayer Zone Workout wearing my pants inside out! (Sweatpants—to those of you reading this on the other side of the pond.) It was very early, and I was half-asleep when I got dressed. Thankfully, my daughter noticed. We laughed at how comical I looked and how ridiculous I could have looked in public.
But this inside-out incident was in my thoughts as I came to the track to pray. As I walked my first lap and turned my contemplation to God, I focused on the awesomeness revealed in his name: I AM WHO I AM.
I have been reading the book of Exodus. Aspects of God’s actions in this book can seem quite frightening, especially his treatment of those who are disobedient to him.
But Exodus also displays a compassionate God who acts first to rescue people. And this theme of God taking the initial action to save people continues throughout scripture. In Ezekiel, God breathes new life into dry bones, and replaces hearts of stone with living hearts. Later in scripture, God initiates deliverance through Jesus Christ. We may have no ability of our own, but God still rescues us—and this is from the inside out.
So, my inside-out thoughts seemed very appropriate. With God I can fully display the inside—the labels, seams, hem—all the unattractive things that I don’t want other people to see. I talked to God about my fears, concerns, and even the lack of trust I had in him. I could bare it all. And this is OK, because God looks inside at our hearts and acts from the inside out.
I continued with another lap of the track and allowed God to search my heart by breathing in his Spirit. I concentrated on my breathing, so my mind would not wander.
I meditated on God bringing his life to my stony heart and dry bones.
It was blustery and windy, and it began to rain. The only other track user left the track at this point. (She soon returned with an umbrella.)
The verse on my daily scripture calendar came to mind:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3, NIV).
My own spirit may be needy, but with God’s Spirit, I become his child with an inheritance.
With God we can be inside out, because it is the inside that matters most to him. Human nature is to look at the outward appearance. In this, I am no different from the next person.
Toward the end of my walk, my outward appearance was not so perfect, even though my pants had the right side out! The weather was warm, and physical activity was making me warm, too. I removed my jacket and sweatshirt to reveal a purple T-shirt that clashed with the red laces of my sneakers and my light brown bandana. My attire was not color coordinated—oh well! I wasn’t at the track to showcase my fashion sense. I was exposing my heart to my God who is perfecting me from the inside-out.
I’d love to hear from you. How are you opening your inside to let God work?