Taking our youngest grandchildren to the Disney movie Inside Out in 2015 was fun and entertaining. It was also quite interesting to me, because I had written a poem of the same title more twelve years ago. As a follow-up to Wednesday’s post about Redefining the Christian Response to the World, I decided to share it. And although I don’t remember exactly how long ago I wrote this particular poem, I remember why I wrote it. Sometimes I scan my journal responses in My Utmost for His Highest Daily Devotional Journal by Oswald Chambers. On one such day, I ran across my 2004 response to “Abide in Me” (John 15:4 KJV), and this is part of what I wrote:
“Once I had received Christ, it was up to me to act on His new place of residence, my heart. I know this to be true because after receiving Him I went for a very long time without giving Him much consideration in my life. He was there, waiting patiently for me to choose to what extent I would allow myself to abide in Him.” I had concluded that when my chosen act of abiding in Jesus started changing my inside—when it is overflowing with Him more each day—it must all come out.
Making choices in this game of life
With my ideas bringing them about
No wonder I’m unable to understand
Why I am always left with doubt
I’ve received Jesus into my heart
I believe that should be enough
Can’t He take it all from here
And make it smooth from the rough?
Not true I’m told in the Gospel of John
For Jesus wants me to abide in Him
He means in each and every circumstance
Even when the darkness makes life dim
I think the darkness comes from the world
My rebellion also takes a turn
But when I choose to let it all go
Then only for Him do I yearn
This choosing comes from Him on my inside
He wants me to let it out
But this I am truly unable to do
Until I abide… erasing all doubt
From my inside and going out
I’ve chosen a new joy to express
Abiding in Him through all of my life
Even in times of wilderness
My heart and soul from the inside
Have been changed because of Him
Shouldn’t I be letting it all go out
Instead of selfishly keeping it in?
If I share my freedom from the inside out
Maybe others will wish to seek
The One in whom I place all of my trust
Then won’t others also be free?
Just as the flower blooms from the inside out, when I began to live from the inside out I readjusted the way I thought about people who are different from me. I pray it will do the same for you.